Looking for a way into a fast-growing part of its home state, American Bancshares of Bradenton, Fla., is buying a bank in Murdock.

American, the holding company for American Bank of Bradenton, said it would buy $62.5 million-asset Murdock Florida Bank.

American Bancshares valued the deal at $11.3 million, about 2.25 times Murdock's book value. "Murdock is located in one of the fastest-growing areas in the state of Florida," said Gerald L. Anthony, president and chief executive officer of American. "We are pleased with this opportunity to strengthen our customer base."

After the merger, American would have $326.4 million of assets and seven branches. It now has $256.7 million of assets and six branches.

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