West Coast Bancorp's (WCBO) deal to sell itself for $506 million to Columbia Banking System (COLB) shows how a good price is relative in M&A.

The price tag for the Lake Oswego, Ore., company — recapitalized in 2009 by a handful of hedge funds now interested in selling their 22% equity stake — equals 145% of its tangible book value. That is a modest price for the buyer in comparison with similar deals.

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