A bankruptcy court on Thursday approved the sale of AmericanWest Bank and Far West Bank to an investor group.

AmericanWest Bancorp, a $1.5 billion-asset company in Spokane, Wash., chose to clear the $6.5 million sale through the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington. Regulators have approved the sales, which should close on Dec. 31.

SKBHC Holdings LLC, an investor group backed with $750 million from private-equity groups, pension plans and mutual funds, said that it would invest up to $200 million in the banks.

"We have been interested in the bank because of its mix of dedicated employees, loyal customers and attractive communities," Scott Kisting, SKBHC's chairman and CEO, said in a press release.

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