U.S. Bancorp to Buy Calif. Bank for $35M

PORTLAND, Ore. - U.S. Bancorp announced Friday it has signed a definitive agreement to buy Business and Professional Bank, Woodland, Calif., for about $35 million.

Business and Professional Bank has assets of $214 million and four branches in northern California. The $18-per-share, all-cash deal will be accounted for as a purchase, U.S. Bancorp said.

Upon completion of the transaction, Business and Professional Bank would operate as a unit of U.S. Bancorp, which has $33 billion of assets. The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 1997.

Two Florida Banks in Merger Discussions

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Two Florida community banks said Friday that they are engaged in merger talks.

Republic Bancshares and FFO Financial Group Inc. said no assurance could be given that a definitive agreement would be reached. Republic, based in St. Petersburg, has $802 million of assets, and FFO Financial, based in St. Cloud, has $311 million.

James Davis, president and chief executive officer of FFO Financial, declined to give details. "We have just begun discussions, and that's all I can say," he said.

In a joint statement, Mr. Davis and John Sapanski, chairman and chief executive of Republic, noted that Republic lost $202,000 in the third quarter, and FFO Financial lost $457,000.

1st Empire State Folding NYC Thrift into M&T

BUFFALO - First Empire State Corp. said Friday it will merge its New York City savings bank unit, East New York Savings Bank, into its commercial banking unit, Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co. The merger will be completed by Memorial Day.

The company said East New York Savings will operate as the New York City unit of Manufacturers & Traders. East New York's president, Atwood Collins, will become the New York City unit's president. East New York Savings' board will become the unit's regional advisory board.

First Empire State, which has $12.8 billion of assets, said it does not expect the merger's effects to be material to its operating results.

- Staff and wire reports

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