Associated Banc-Corp. has agreements to sell eight remote branches in an effort to streamline its operations, but an analyst says he would still prefer to see the entire $12.3 billion-asset company on the auction block.

The Green Bay, Wis., banking company said last week that it would sell seven branches in Illinois and one in Minnesota to seven community banks. Robert Gallagher, president and chief operating officer, said the sales would enable the company to devote more energy to its remaining 200-branch network.

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