based Sterling Bancshares said it intends to buy Houston Commerce Bank for an undisclosed amount of stock.

Sterling, a $1.4 billion-asset bank holding company, plans to set a price for $105 million-asset Houston Commerce after it has completed due diligence. The two parties expect to sign a definitive merger agreement by mid-February.

After acquiring Houston Commerce's three branches, Sterling would have 22 in its home market. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

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