Banks to Merge In North Dakota

FARGO, N.D. -- Community First Bankshares Inc. said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire First Interstate of North Dakota Inc. in an exchange of stock.

Each share of First Interstate, which is not part of Los Angeles-based First Interstate Bancorp, will be swapped for $63 of Community First common stock, based on an expected book value for First Interstate stock of $38.17 a share.

The merger has been approved by the boards of both companies and is subject to the approval of First Interstate shareholders and bank regulators. Closing is expected in second-quarter 1992.

First Interstate is the holding company for First Interstate Bank of Fargo, with $140 million in assets and two offices. That bank will be the combined company's flagship, said Donald R. Mengedoth, president and chief executive officer of Community First.

Separately, Community First Bankshares said it has received approval from the Federal Reserve Board to merge with Community First North Dakota Bankshares Inc., an affiliated holding company. The merger also requires approval of the North Dakota banking board.

Community First North Dakota, also based in Fargo, has four offices and assets of $188 million. Completion of the Community First Bankshares and First Interstate mergers will increase the total assets to just under $1 billion.

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