MINNEAPOLIS — U.S. Bancorp is offering stock options to its 50,000 employees, marking the completion of its merger with Firstar Corp. of Milwaukee.

The one-time grant is meant to rally the troops in the swift integration of the two banks and act as a catalyst to boost sales and profits. The merger deal, creating the eighth-largest U.S. banking company, with $160 billion of assets, closed Tuesday.

“We recognize that an incentive program of this type can serve to motivate the individuals most important in creating shareholder value,” said Jerry A. Grundhofer, president and chief operating officer, in a release.

Mr. Grundhofer, the younger brother of the combined company’s chairman, John Grundhofer, has used across-the-board stock incentive programs in the past — during stints as chairman of Cincinnati-based Star Banc Corp. and of Firstar.

U.S. Bank, on the other hand, did not have as extensive a stock option program, a spokeswoman said.

The program includes full-time and part-time workers. Full-time salaried employees will get 400 options each, full-time hourly employees will get 200, and part-time employees will get 100. Employees will be able to purchase shares at $23.34 apiece, with 50% vesting after two years. The options are fully vested after four years.

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