In a deal that would mark its entry into Washington State, Zions Bancorp of Salt Lake City said it would buy Commerce Bancorp., Seattle, in a stock transaction for an undisclosed price.

Commerce operates Commerce Bank of Washington, which lends to small and midsize businesses in the Puget Sound area. It has one office in Seattle and $330 million of assets.

Zions said the merger is expected to add to earnings immediately, but would result in an after-tax charge of about $2 million in the third quarter, when the deal is expected to close.

The merger is the second that $10.6 billion-asset Zions has announced this month. Last week it unveiled plans to purchase $135 million-asset Kersey (Colo.) Bancorp for stock, at a price that was also not disclosed.

In an interview Thursday, Zions president and chief executive officer Harris H. Simmons said the company's expansion in Washington would not be limited to Commerce. "We will be looking to grow, but whether that will be through acquisitions or internal growth is yet to be determined," Mr. Simmons said.

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