Banner Bank calls off its Idaho expansion deal

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WALLA WALLA — An acquisition that would have hoisted Banner Bank’s Idaho presence has been terminated.

Officials with Walla Walla-based Banner Corp., the parent company of Banner Bank, announced Wednesday the company will not buy Home Federal Bancorp Inc.

The announcement came a week after Home’s directors declared it has received a superior proposal from Bend, Ore.,-based Cascade Bancorp. Although Banner had the right to match the offer, officials said the agreement and plan of merger has been terminated.

“While it is unfortunate that the transaction has been terminated, we will maintain our discipline in evaluating future opportunities,” Mark Grescovich, Banner’s president and chief executive, said in a prepared statement. He said that means Banner will structure transactions to provide fair value with upside potential to shareholders.

“Our agreement with Home struck that balance and we continue to believe it was a transaction that would have added significant value to their customers, employees and communities. We respect and maintain high regard for everyone at Home Federal and wish them the very best.”

He said Banner will continue to seek acquisition opportunities, including in the Boise area.

As part of the termination of the agreement, Home paid a fee of about $3 million to Banner.

Plans to acquire Home in a $197 million transaction were announced one month ago by the two companies. The acquisition would have given Banner $5.2 billion in assets and 112 branches in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 526-8321.

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