Plaza Bancorp in Irvine, Calif., has agreed to buy Manhattan Bancorp in El Segundo, Calif.

Plaza will pay about $70 million in cash and stock, or $5.59 a share, for Manhattan, based on the seller's outstanding stock at Sept. 30. Plaza will have $1 billion in assets when the deal is completed. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half of this year.

"This combination will create a premier community business and private bank in California and Nevada with deeper capabilities that will enable us to better serve our customers across all of our markets," Gene Galloway, Plaza's president and chief executive, said in a press release Wednesday. "We see great opportunities to grow our combined business by increasing our focus on commercial and private banking, offering our customers access to greater financial resources and investing in a broader range of innovative products."

Galloway will remain president and CEO of the company, while Rick Sowers, Manhattan's president and chief operating officer, will join the executive team.

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