AmericanWest Bank has struck its third deal this year with an agreement to buy the struggling PremierWest Bancorp (PRWT). The price tag is $16.6 million in cash. The seller, based in Medford, Ore., has 32 branches and assets of $1.2 billion. It would give AmericanWest entree into Northern California and Oregon.
PremierWest decided to sell after “it became evident to the board of directors and our bank management that without a sizable infusion of additional capital, the bank would not be able to exit all problem credit relationships, satisfy our commitment to the [Troubled Asset Relief] program, and adhere to recently enacted regulatory requirements,” Jim Ford, president and chief executive of PremierWest, said in a news release. “After studying many options we decided to merge with AmericanWest Bank as the best course of action for our employees, shareholders and communities,” Ford said.