BankAmerica Corp. said it has reached definitive agreements to sell 20 branches in rural Texas to nine community banks in the state.

The agreements bring the San Francisco-based company's Bank of America Texas unit close to completing its previously announced goal of selling 27 branches.

The branch sales are BankAmerica's most significant since the divestitures that followed its 1992 merger with Security Pacific Corp. of Los Angeles. The companies had significant market overlaps in the West.

Betty Riess, a BankAmerica spokeswoman, said another five branch sales from the designated 27 are expected to be announced soon, while two others in that group will not be sold.

The transactions must be approved by regulators before completion.

BankAmerica is selling the branches to "concentrate resources in areas where we can best serve customer interests," Ms. Riess added.

Terms for the sales were not disclosed. Knowledgeable sources, who asked not to be named, said the prices were believed to average nearly 3% of the branches' deposits.

The 27 offices that were initially targeted for sale have deposits of about $330 million.

Bank of America Texas currently has 241 branches. As of June 30, assets totaled $7.9 billion and deposits $6.8 billion.

Randy Hicks, a spokesman in Dallas for Bank of America Texas, said the bank had acquired the branches it is now selling in 1992 from Sunbelt Federal Savings and First Gibraltar.

Mr. Hicks declined to elaborate on the reasons for the sales. But he noted that over the last 15 months Bank of America Texas has opened 19 branches in Dallas, Houston, and Forth Worth, mostly in supermarkets.

Greg Madding, a partner in San Francisco with the investment banking firm Hoefer & Arnett, said it appears that Bank of America Texas decided to sell the worst-performing portion of its rural branch network. He said he is familiar with the branches because of advisory work he has done for clients.

The acquirers in the 20 branch sales announced so far are Pacific Southwest Bank, American State Bank, Wellington State Bank, First National Bank of South Texas, and Bank of South Texas units of Texas Bancshares, Security State Bank of Abilene, National Bank in Gainesville; Junction National Bank; and Brady National Bank.

The branches being sold are in Alice, Beeville, Clifton, Dublin, Hamilton, Hico, Farwell, Floydada, Littlefield, Muleshoe, Plainview, Childress, Memphis, Pleasanton, Floresville, Early, Gorman, Gatesville, Junction, and Brady.

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