Wilshire Bancorp (WIBC) in Los Angeles has agreed to buy BankAsiana in Palisades Park, N.J.
Wilshire, which has $2.8 billion in assets, will pay roughly $32.5 million in cash for the $207 million-asset BankAsiana. The New Jersey bank has three branches, $161 million in loans and $165 million in deposits.
The transaction is expected to close in by the end of this year.
"We believe the acquisition offers significant financial and strategic benefits," Jae Whan Yoo, Wilshire's president and chief executive, said in a Monday press release. "This transaction will double the size of Wilshire's New York/New Jersey franchise, further diversifying the loan portfolio and providing greater exposure to fast growing market segments. We believe this proposed acquisition is a smart use of our excess capital, allowing us to consolidate a smaller, in-market player."
The acquisition is the latest in a emerging wave of deals involving Korean-American banks. In April, BBCN Bancorp (BBCN) agreed to buy Foster Bancshares to expand in Chicago and Washington. Hanmi Financial (HAFC) hired an investment bank earlier this year to help it evaluate strategic options, including a potential sale.