Horizon Financial Corp. said it has a deal to buy in-town competitor Bellingham (Wash.) Bancorp. for $15.5 million of stock.

The deal, announced last week, would create a $652 million-asset company with 15 offices in Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish counties.

Horizon, parent of Horizon Bank, is a $588 million-asset thrift company. Bellingham, parent of Bank of Bellingham, is a $64.3 million-asset commercial bank. Under the pooling-of-interests deal, Horizon would exchange 2.74 shares of its common stock for each Bellingham share.

"Horizon's expertise with real estate lending, combined with our commercial banking experience, will benefit our organizations and help propel us to the next level of community banking," said Jack Daughters, president and chief executive officer at Bank of Bellingham.

Horizon also said it would rescind its stock repurchase plan. The deal is expected to close by June 1.

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