Columbia Banking System Inc. has agreed to buy the $34 million-asset Bank of Fife for about $31.89 per share.

The deal, worth about two times Fife's book value, would give Columbia access now to a market that the $655 million-asset banking company had eventually planned to enter, in any event. Bank of Fife has one branch.

This is the second acquisition for Columbia this summer. It announced July 1 that it would buy $87 million-asset Cascade Community Bank, Auburn, which operates three branches.

Columbia has 18 branches in Pierce, King, and Cowlitz counties.

Under the Fife agreement, the bank's stockholders will get 1.45 to 1.77 share of Columbia stock for each of their shares, depending on the average price of Columbia stock during 20 trading days shortly before the deal closes.

The transaction, which remains subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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