Umpqua to Buy 3-Branch Bank

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), April 11, 2012 | Go to article overview

Umpqua to Buy 3-Branch Bank


Byline: Ilene Aleshire The Register-Guard

Umpqua Bank is expanding in California, with the acquisition of American Perspective Bank for about $44.7 million, Portland-based Umpqua announced Tuesday.

Umpqua officials said the acquisition will expand its presence in the Central Coast region, adding American Perspective's three branches in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria and Paso Robles to Umpqua's existing network of 75 California branches.

The deal, an all-cash purchase, is expected to close in midyear, pending shareholder and regulatory approval, according to Umpqua.

Umpqua acquired four other banks during the recession - including one that expanded the Oregon bank's footprint into Nevada - but those were all failing banks that Umpqua acquired with the assistance and encouragement of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

American Perspective, in contrast, is a healthy bank that Umpqua acquired as part of its long-term growth plan, CEO Ray Davis said. (American Perspective reported a profit of $2.8 million, or 64 cents per share, for 2011.)

It was the first such acquisition since 2007, Davis said. "This is sort of a sign that things are getting better, that banks are coming out of (the downturn)."

Umpqua is on the lookout for more acquisitions, Davis said, as it continues to focus on growth. But, he added, "You can't ever count on acquisitions." That's why the bank has stayed "focused on organic growth, growing our own stores, building where it makes sense."

Umpqua said in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its management team expects - and is prepared for - more mergers and acquisitions to take place as the economy improves. …

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