Coronado First Bank (NADO) in California has agreed to buy San Diego Private Bank for roughly $15.5 million in stock.

The $166 million-asset Coronado has branches in Coronado and in nearby downtown San Diego. It serves small businesses and real estate investors throughout Southern California.

The $129 million-asset San Diego Private Bank was formed in August 2006 to focus on private banking services for individuals and has since expanded into commercial and Small Business Administration lending.

The combined company would continue to operate in all of its current locations, including Coronado, downtown San Diego and La Jolla.

"This merger is about two community banks that complement each other in size, products, service commitment and their geographic focus," Selwyn Isakow, the chairman and chief executive of San Diego Private Bank, said in a news release Tuesday. "Coronado First Bank brings a wealth of experience in all aspects of real estate lending and superior credit administration while San Diego Private Bank brings a culture of unparalleled client service and customized financing solutions as well as a full complement of government guaranteed small business loan products."

Isakow would serve as chairman, and Maria P. Kunac, president and CEO of Coronado First Bank, would serve as president and CEO of the combined company. Representatives from both banks would be appointed to the new board.

Under the agreement, the outstanding shares of San Diego Private Bank would be exchanged for shares of Coronado at a fixed ratio of 0.545 shares of Coronado for each share of San Diego Private Bank.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first quarter.

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