Hoping to capitalize on the population boom in a nearby Chicago exurb, First Midwest Bancorp is planning to buy a banking company in McHenry, Ill., for about $105 million.

First Midwest, a $3.1 billion-asset company, has announced its intention to acquire SparBank Inc., a $445 million-asset banking company. And SparBank's shareholders have approved the deal.

SparBank is the largest banking company in McHenry County, a wealthy, rapidly growing area northwest of Chicago. The company has 16% of the county's deposit market share.

If McHenry County "does anything near where the demographers predict, it will afford some significant opportunities," said James Roolf, a senior vice president at First Midwest.

McHenry County is Illinois' fourth-wealthiest, with average household income of $80,000, and is ninth-largest in population, with nearly 250,000 residents.

"This is what every acquisition should be about," First Midwest Bancorp president and CEO Robert P. O'Meara said in a written statement.

First Midwest has historically focused its acquisition efforts on growing Chicago-area markets, and Mr. Roolf said the company is seeking other opportunities in the region. First Midwest is already the second- largest banking company, behind First Chicago NBD Corp., in suburban Lake and Will counties.

Should the SparBank acquisition be completed, First Midwest's asset total would grow to $3.5 billion. The parties have agreed to swap SparBank shares for First Midwest stock. The deal is expected to close by Sept. 30.

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