Frontier Financial Corp. in Everett, Wash., has announced plans to buy Valley Bancorp., Sumner, Wash. At Frontier's current stock price, the deal is valued at $47.3 million, 23 times Valley's 1998 estimated earnings.

Depending on Frontier's trading price 10 days before the deal closes, the exchange ratio could range from 0.8177 shares to 0.9046 shares of Frontier for each share of Valley. The pooling-of-interest transaction is expected to be completed by yearend.

Valley, with $97 million of assets, is the parent of Bank of Sumner. The merger would expand Frontier's 19-branch network along the Interstate 5 corridor into fast-growing Pierce County.

If the deal, announced Friday, is approved, the combined entity would have more than $1 billion of assets and 23 offices in four counties in western Washington. The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings in 1999.

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