Banner's latest acquisition will strengthen operations around Seattle

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Banner Corp. in Walla Walla, Wash., has agreed to buy Skagit Bancorp in Burlington, Wash.

The $10.4 billion-asset Banner said in a press release Wednesday that it will pay $191.1 million in stock for the $922 million-asset Skagit. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Skagit has 12 branches, $599 million in loans and $811 million in deposits.

Cheryl Bishop, Skagit’s CEO, will join Banner’s board.

“This transaction expands Banner’s presence and density in the attractive Seattle and I-5 corridor markets and represents a complementary fit, both strategically and culturally, with Banner’s business model,” Mark Grescovich, Banner’s president and CEO, said in the release.

The merger “provides the opportunity to create efficiencies and enhance the value of the combined company while offering Skagit customers a broader product offering, increased lending limits and an expanded branch delivery system,” Grescovich added.

Banner said it expects the deal to be immediately accretive to its earnings per share, excluding merger-related expenses.

Banner was advised by D.A. Davidson and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Skagit was advised by Sandler O’Neill and Miller Nash Graham & Dunn.

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