In what would be the biggest purchase of bank branches by a credit union, Royal Credit Union in Eau Claire, Wis., said Tuesday that it had agreed to buy 11 offices from the troubled Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc.

Along with the branches in northwestern Wisconsin, the $1 billion-asset credit union would assume about $177 million in deposits and receive a corresponding amount in loans, real estate and other assets from the bank.

The price was not disclosed. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

The $4.6 billion-asset Anchor, based in Madison, said the deal would shrink its assets while enhancing its capital and ability to address asset quality and other obligations. The sale also would move the subsidiary AnchorBank closer to compliance with an Office of Thrift Supervision supervisory agreement that calls for higher capital ratios.

The branches involved in the transaction are in Amery, Balsam Lake, Centuria, Menomonie, Milltown, New Richmond, Osceola, River Falls, St. Croix Falls, Somerset and Star Prairie. All the offices being sold were acquired by AnchorBank in its 2008 purchase of the $381.1 million-asset S&C Bank.

Royal, one of the country's biggest state-chartered credit unions, has reported profits totaling $3.4 million for the first three quarters of the year, even after a $1.2 million charge for the corporate credit union bailout.

Once the deal closes, Royal would have 26 branches, 23 in Wisconsin and three in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

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