American River Holdings, Sacramento, Calif., said it signed a letter of intent on June 24 to acquire privately held Gold Country National Bank, Marysville, Calif., for $5.4 million in stock, or $11.49 a share.

American River Holdings, with $164.2 million of assets, is parent of American River Bank. It said Gold Country would operate as a subsidiary.

The deal value represents 2.36 times Gold Country's book value. American River would operate nine branches with $210 million of assets in Northern California. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter

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