Banner Corp. to purchase Home Federal Bank for $197 million

Yet another bank with local operations is going away as community banks continue to consolidate.

Home Federal Bank, which assumed ownership of failed LibertyBank branches in Medford and Grants Pass in August 2010, is being acquired by Banner Corp. for $197 million in cash and stock and will soon be known as Banner Bank.

Walla Walla, Wash.-based Banner Corp., the holding company for Banner Bank and Islanders Bank, and Home Federal Bancorp, the Nampa, Idaho-based holding company for Home Federal Bank, said Tuesday they have signed an agreement in which Banner will absorb Home Federal.

Banner has $4.24 billion in assets, while Home Federal has $1 billion in assets.

The combined company will have approximately $5.2 billion in assets and will be the fourth-largest Pacific Northwest-headquartered bank, as ranked by assets. It also will be one of the top 10 banks in Washington, Idaho and Oregon in terms of deposit market share.

"This combination will help us toward our goal of becoming the community bank of choice in the Pacific Northwest," Mark Grescovich, Banner's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Grescovich said the acquisition will boost Banner's presence in Boise, the region's third-largest metropolitan market, as well as provide entry into Central Oregon, Eugene, Medford and Grants Pass.

"The combination of our two organizations provides the opportunity to create tremendous synergies, while offering Home Federal customers a broader product offering, increased lending limits and an expanded branch delivery system that stretches throughout the Pacific Northwest," Grescovich said.

The deal still requires regulatory approval and approval by Home Federal shareholders.

Banner will pay Home Federal shareholders $87.6 million in cash and 2,904,000 shares of Banner common stock.

Based on today's closing price of $37.66 for Banner shares, the transaction will have an aggregate value of $197 million. The deal is expected to close in early 2014.

Banner was advised in the transaction by D.A. Davidson & Co., as financial adviser, and Breyer and Associates, as legal counsel.

Home Federal Bancorp was advised by Keefe, Bruyette and Woods as financial adviser, and Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease, as legal counsel.

Home Federal Bank operates branches on Biddle Road in Medford and on Southeast Seventh Street in Grants Pass.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness.

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