PremierWest will buy Sacramento-area bank chain

PremierWest Bancorp, parent of PremierWest Bank, has agreed to buy Stockmans Financial Group and Stockmans Bank, in a cash-and-stock deal worth about $91.1 million, PremierWest said today.

The combined organization will grow to 45 branch offices with assets of $1.5 billion. The deal, which needs both regulatory and shareholder approval, will extend the Medford-based bankholding company's presence south of Sacramento for the first time.

Stockmans operates five branches, all just south of Sacramento. Its 70 employees will boost PremierWest's total employment to 560.

PremierWest Bancorp Chief Executive Officer John Anhorn said he expected the deal to close in early January. Elk Grove-based Stockmans Financial Group shareholders will receive about 5.4 million PremierWest common shares and about $22.8 million in cash.

PremierWest Bank President John Ford said Stockmans Bank offices will continue operating under that name. The company said it expects the merger to add to earnings per share in the first full year of operations after closing.

— Greg Stiles

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