Banner merger would create fourth-largest commercial bank in Northwest


Banner Corp., the Walla Walla parent company of Banner Bank, announced Thursday its plans to purchase Florence, Ore.,-based Siuslaw Financial Group Inc., in a move that will create the fourth-largest commercial bank in terms of assets headquartered in the Pacific Northwest.

Banner would merge with Siuslaw Financial Group’s Siuslaw Bank for a combined $5.1 billion in assets, the announcement said. The two companies entered into an agreement subject to approval by Siuslaw shareholders, regulatory approval and other customary conditions of closing.

The transaction is expected to close in the latter part of the fourth quarter 2014.

The acquisition would come through about 90 percent stock and 10 percent cash. It provides Siuslaw shareholders $1.41622 in cash plus about .32 of a share of Banner common stock in exchange for each share of Siuslaw common stock. Siuslaw preferred stock would convert to its common stock and the preferred shareholders would receive the same merger consideration as its common shareholders.

According to Banner’s closing price of $39.14 per share Thursday, the total would be about $14.03 per Siuslaw share with an aggregate value of $57.5 million.

Banner CEO Mark Grescovich said in a prepared statement the acquisition paves the way for Banner’s expansion in Oregon, including an introduction to the state’s second largest metropolitan market — Eugene.

“The combination of our two organizations provides the opportunity to create revenue and cost synergies while offering Siuslaw customers a broader product offering, increased lending limits and an expanded branch delivery system that stretches throughout the Pacific Northwest,” he said.

Johan Mehlum, chairman and CEO of Siuslaw Financial Group, said the transaction allows the company to “partner with a strong community bank that is focused on providing great customer service, a deep commitment to the communities where it operates and an excellent environment for employees to perform and advance. We are proud of our long history of developing lasting relationships with our clients and serving our market areas. We look forward to working with the management team at Banner Bank to expand the scope of our products and services to even better serve Lane County residents and businesses.”

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, or on Twitter.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in