Anchor in Wash. finds new buyer after reg issue snagged prior deal

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Anchor Bancorp in Lacey, Wash., has agreed to sell itself — again.

FS Bancorp in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., said in a press release Tuesday that it will buy the $480 million-asset Anchor for $77 million in cash and stock. The deal, which is expected to close by early 2019, priced Anchor at 116% of Anchor's tangible book value.

The deal coincides with an announcement that Washington Federal and Anchor will terminate their April 2017 merger agreement. Washington Federal, which had agreed to buy Anchor for $64 million, had to withdraw its application with regulators after getting flagged for Bank Secrecy Act compliance issues.

The $1 billion-asset FS Bancorp said buying Anchor will allow it to enter several counties in western Washington. The deal should be immediately accretive to FS Bancorp's tangible book value per share. FS Bancorp said it expects the acquisition to be accretive to its 2019 earnings per share, excluding $7.3 million in merger-related expenses.

FS Bancorp said it plans to cut about a third of Anchor’s noninterest expenses.

"We believe Anchor will be an excellent strategic and cultural fit with our existing franchise,” Joseph Adams, FS Bancorp’s CEO, said in the release.

“Anchor’s experienced and professional bankers provide us with a tremendous financial opportunity in terms of depth of talent with a strong and diverse customer base,” Adams added. “This acquisition allows us to enter new markets further leveraging our operational scale.”

“We are disappointed we will not be able to consummate the transaction with Washington Federal, but wish to thank the board … and management of Washington Federal for their professionalism as we have worked through this process,” Jerald Shaw, Anchor’s CEO, said in the release. “We part with a great deal of respect and wish Washington Federal continued success.”

Raymond James and Keller Rohrback advised FS Bancorp. Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods; Breyer & Associates; and Silver, Freedman, Taff & Tiernan advised Anchor.

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