Two central California community banks agreed last week to buy small competitors in deals that totaled $19.9 million.

In the larger of the two agreements, Western Sierra Bancorp in Cameron Park said it would buy Sentinel Community Bank in Sonora for $10.8 million. A multibank holding company with about $320 million of assets, Western Sierra would merge $92 million-asset Sentinel into its Western Sierra National Bank subsidiary.

Both banks are headquartered in the suburbs of Sacramento. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Meanwhile, in south central California, Bank of the Sierra in Porterville has a deal for Sierra National Bank in Tehachapi for $9.1 million of cash.

Bank of the Sierra, with $440 million of assets, operates 11 branches between Fresno and Bakersfield. By acquiring $87 million-asset Sierra National, Bank of the Sierra would add four branches and $81 million of loans in and near Bakersfield.

No branches would be closed as a result of the merger, though Sierra National would assume the Bank of the Sierra name. The deal is expected to be completed by April 30.

- Alan Kline

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