East West Bancorp in San Marino, Calif., announced it plans to acquire $110 million-asset Prime Bank, which was founded in Los Angeles two years ago.

East West, which has a mostly Chinese-American clientele, said it would pay about $14.5 million for Prime. Prime shareholders are to receive 51.15 shares of East West stock and $420 in cash for each Prime share owned.

The deal is expected to close by the end of January and is valued at 1.62 times book.

“We are very excited to add Prime’s proven expertise in a number of niche markets, such as specialty commercial deposit and cash management services,” said Dominic Ng, chairman, president, and chief executive officer at $2.3 billion-asset East West.

Prime was created by a group of executives who founded Metrobank in the early 1980s and built it into a $1 billion-asset bank before selling it to Comerica Inc. in 1996.

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