In an acquisition that could move it into the ranks of the top 25 banking companies, First Bank System Inc. said Friday it plans to acquire Metropolitan Financial Corp. for more than $800 million in stock.

The companies, both based in Minneapolis and with a multistate network of banking offices, signed a letter of intent and are working out the exact transaction cost. The price is expected to be between $811 million and $877 million, or between 1.59 and 1.71 times Metropolitan's book value of $15.75 per share.

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