Zions Bancorp. said late Wednesday that it has completed its purchase of Regency Bancorp, of Fresno, Calif. The $230 million-asset bank, which has four branches in and around Fresno, will be folded into California Bank and Trust, Zions' California subsidiary.

"Regency will be a great beachhead from which to grow our presence in the Central Valley," said Robert Sarver, president and chief executive of Oakland-based California Bank & Trust.

On the basis of Zions' Oct. 6 closing price of $57.3125, each Regency share has been converted into $21.03 worth of Zions' stock. The $17.8 billion-asset banking company said it issued roughly 985,000 shares to complete the transaction.

As announced previously, Zions is expected to incur roughly $4 million of after-tax charges in the fourth quarter as a result of the Regency acquisition. The deal is expected to add to earnings per share immediately, the banking company said.

The bulk of Zions' California operations was acquired in 1998, when it bought $5 billion-asset Sumitomo Bank of California. Zions, which has announced plans in June to merge with First Security Corp., of Salt Lake City, has roughly $6.5 billion of assets in California. -- Olaf de Senerpont Domis

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