PALO ALTO, Calif. - Continuing its torrid acquisition spree in Northern California, Greater Bay Bancorp is planning to buy Bank of Petaluma for about $41 million of stock.

The deal, announced late Tuesday, is one of three pending at $2.6 billion-asset Greater Bay. The super community banking company, which was created in 1996 through a merger of two banks, is also buying Coast Bancorp in Santa Cruz and Bank of Santa Clara. Upon completing the three deals, Greater Bay would have 10 subsidiary banks with $3.7 billion of assets and $3.3 billion of deposits.

Like Greater Bay's other units, $195 million-asset Bank of Petaluma would operate under its own name and with its own management team. Under the pooling-of-interests agreement, Greater Bay would exchange 0.685 share of its stock for each share of Bank of Petaluma. The price of the deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, is 2.76 times Bank of Petaluma's book value.

- Alan Kline

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