California banks lower merger price to reflect coronavirus' impact on economy

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The coronavirus outbreak has forced Bank of Southern California in San Diego and CalWest Bancorp in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., to lower the price of their proposed merger.

Bank of Southern California's all-cash offer for CalWest was reduced by 18% to 35 cents a share, the companies said in a Wednesday press release.

The change came after Bank of Southern California’s shareholders adjourned their April 22 meeting without approving the merger. The shareholders attributed their decision to “the economic effects of COVID-19,” the release said.

The amendment is set to be presented to shareholders in mid-May. The transaction is expected to close May 29.

The $767 million-asset Bank of Southern California agreed in October to pay $32 million in cash for the $234 million-asset CalWest. The deal was expected to close in the first quarter.

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