Western Capital in Boise, Idaho, is expanding into neighboring Oregon with a deal to acquire the $104 million-asset Northwest Bank in Lake Oswego.

The deal, announced early Thursday, would combine two relatively new banks that primarily target business clients. Northwest was founded in 2005 and now has three branches in the Portland, Ore, market and Western Capital was established in 2008 and has a single branch in Boise. The combined bank would have $258 million of assets, $220 million of deposits and more than $41 million of capital.

"Western Capital Bank and Northwest Bank operate in their markets in an almost identical manner," Jeff Gow, Western Capital's chairman, said in a news release. "Bringing these two banks together to form a larger and stronger organization focused on two of the most dynamic metropolitan areas in the Northwest will provide their business and professional clients with greater products and services at a time when the region is entering its next growth cycle."

The deal is being billed as a merger of equals, though Western Capital, which is more profitable and has far more capital available, is technically the buyer. Most shares of Northwest will be converted into Western Capital shares and investors who hold small amounts of Northwest shares will receive cash.

A deal price was not disclosed.

The new bank would adopt the Northwest name and operate as the sole banking unit the holding company Western Capital Corporation. The merger is expected to close in the third quarter.

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