Federal banking regulators have signed off on Umpqua Holdings' (UMPQ) agreement to buy Sterling Financial (STSA).

The deal is scheduled to close by April 18 and would create a banking company with assets of $22 billion and 400 branches in California, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and Washington, the two companies said in an April 1 news release. Umpqua is based in Portland, Ore., and Sterling in Spokane, Wash.

Umpqua said in September that it had agreed to pay $2 billion in cash and stock, or $30.52 a share, for Sterling. It was the second biggest bank M&A deal of 2013, behind Pacwest Bancorp's (PACW) $2.4 billion agreement to buy CapitalSource (CSE).

The combined company will keep the Umpqua name and be run by Ray Davis, Umpqua's current president and chief executive. Sterling CEO Greg Seibly will serve as co-president along with Umpqua's Cort O'Haver.

Sterling's fourth-quarter earnings rose 6% from a year earlier to $22.2 million, and total assets increased 4% to $10.3 billion.

Umpqua recently bought commercial leasing firm Financial Pacific Holding in Federal Way, Wash., for $158 million in cash 10 months ago, and it added a homebuilder finance group to expand its real estate business in August 2012.

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