News Column

Columbia Bank enters Idaho market with acquisition of Intermountain Community Bancorp

July 24, 2014

By C.R. Roberts, The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)



July 24--One year after sealing a major merger with West Coast Bancorp, Tacoma-based Columbia Banking System announced that it would enter the Idaho market by acquiring Intermountain Community Bancorp in a $121.5 million deal.

With regulatory approval, the transaction should close in the fourth quarter, Columbia said in a news release Thursday morning.

Intermountain operates primarily in the Idaho Panhandle with 19 offices in Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, Coeur d'Alene, Rathdrum, Kellogg, Twin Falls and other locations, including the Boise area. The bank also has a presence in the Spokane area and in Ontario, Ore.

"We have stated for many years that it has long been our strategy to become the premier Pacific Northwest regional community bank," said Columbia president and CEO Melanie Dressel. "We have always felt that Idaho was an important part of that strategy and Intermountain, with their statewide presence, provides us with a substantial base to serve the Idaho market."

Under terms of the deal, Intermountain shareholders will receive 0.6426 shares of Columbia stock and $2.293 in cash for each Intermountain share.

Along with news of the merger, Columbia on Thursday also released second-quarter earnings and announced that the board of directors has approved a quarterly cash dividend of 14 cents per share alongside a special cash dividend of 14 cents per share.

In releasing earnings that showed a net income of $21.2 million and per-share earnings of 40 cents per share for the quarter, Dressel said, "We had a very solid quarter driven by record loan production that resulted in over 14 percent annualized noncovered loan growth for the period."

Noncovered loans represent the bulk of the portfolio, and are those not affiliated with previous FDIC-related acquisitions.

The bank reported loan production of over $250 million during the quarter. Noncovered loans ended the quarter at $4.45 billion, up $155.6 million, or 4 percent, over the figure released at the end of the first quarter.

Total deposits in the Columbia network stood at $5.99 billion, down 1 percent from the end of the first quarter but up by $25.6 million from the end of 2013.

Dressel was travelling to Sandpoint on Thursday to meet with Carl Hecker, Intermountain president and CEO. She will also be meeting with Intermountain employees over the rest of the week.

C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535

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(c)2014 The News Tribune (Tacoma, Wash.)

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Source: News Tribune (Tacoma, WA)


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