Below is a news release from Columbia Bank and West Coast Bancorp. about the merger/acquisition. West Coast stockholders will get a chance trade in their stock for Columbia common stock or cash. Columbia has a branch office in Bellingham.
Tacoma, Wash. and Lake Oswego, Ore. (September 26, 2012) – Columbia Banking System, Inc. and West Coast Bancorp today jointly announced that the companies have agreed to combine their two leading Pacific Northwest community bank franchises in a transaction valued at approximately $506 million. The combined company will have approximately $7.2 billion in assets with over 150 branches throughout Washington and Oregon and will rank number 1 in deposit market share amongst commercial community banks in the combined states of Washington and Oregon.
“We are very pleased that West Coast has agreed to join and grow with Columbia,” said Melanie J. Dressel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Columbia. ”We see this as an exciting opportunity for both companies, our shareholders, customers and employees to create the Premier Community Banking Franchise in the Pacific Northwest. On a combined basis, we will have extensive coverage throughout Washington and Oregon, including serving all major MSAs.”
Robert D. Sznewajs, President and Chief Executive Officer of West Coast commented, “This merger is a rare fit of two high quality organizations with similar business models, cultures and values. We think the transaction will provide outstanding benefits to our customers, communities, shareholders, and other constituencies, along with enhancing our proven approach to community banking.”
The merger is expected to be immediately accretive to Columbia’s earnings per share with an IRR in excess of 15%. Anticipated cost savings are expected to be approximately 25% of the operating expense base of West Coast, with 50% being realized in 2013 and 100% being realized thereafter.
The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013, after obtaining the approval of the shareholders of each company and receipt of necessary regulatory approvals. The agreement was unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of each company. In addition, shareholders of West Coast owning or controlling approximately 22% in the aggregate of the currently outstanding shares of West Coast have already agreed to vote in favor of the merger.
Under the terms of the merger agreement West Coast shareholders can elect, subject to allocation procedures, to receive either Columbia common stock, cash, or a combination of both stock and cash for each share of West Coast stock. Aggregate consideration offered in exchange for all of West Coast’s capital securities consists of a fixed amount of cash totaling approximately $264.5 million and a fixed amount of Columbia common stock totaling approximately 12.8 million shares. The value received by West Coast shareholders on a per share basis will fluctuate based on Columbia’s stock price. Based on Columbia’s closing stock price of $18.85 on September 25, West Coast shareholders would have received consideration valued at approximately $23.10per share. West Coast shareholders will own approximately 24% of the common stock of the combined company.
One independent member of West Coast’s current Board of Directors will be invited to join Columbia’s Board of Directors. Mr. Sznewajs will assist with the transition process and plans to retire after the integration is successfully underway. Hadley S. Robbins, West Coast’s current Chief Credit Officer, will become the Group Manager for the State of Oregon for Columbia Bank after the close of the transaction, with responsibilities for all commercial and retail banking operations within the State.
Headquartered in Tacoma, Washington, Columbia Banking System, Inc. is the holding Company of Columbia State Bank, a Washington state-chartered full-service commercial bank. For the sixth consecutive year, the bank was named in 2012 as one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Washington’s Best Workplaces.”Columbia Banking System has 101 banking offices, including 76 branches in Washington State and 25 branches in Oregon. Columbia Bank does business under the Bank of Astoria name in Astoria, Warrenton, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita andTillamook in Oregon. More information about Columbia can be found on its website at www.columbiabank.com.
About West Coast
West Coast Bancorp is a publicly held, Northwest bank holding company headquartered in Oregon with $2.4 billion in assets, and the parent company of West Coast Bank and West Coast Trust Company, Inc. West Coast Bank operates 58 branches in Oregonand Washington. The Company serves clients who seek the resources, sophisticated products and expertise of larger financial institutions, along with the local decision-making, market knowledge, and customer service orientation of a community bank. The Company offers a broad range of banking, investment, fiduciary and trust services. For more information, please visit the Company web site at www.wcb.com.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT THE MERGER AND WHERE TO FIND IT
In connection with the proposed transaction, Columbia will file with the SEC a Registration Statement on Form S-4 that will include a Joint Proxy Statement of Columbia and West Coast and a Prospectus of Columbia, as well as other relevant documents concerning the proposed transaction. Shareholders of Columbia and West Coast are urged to read the Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus regarding the transaction when it becomes available and any other relevant documents filed with the SEC, as well as any amendments or supplements to those documents, because they will contain important information. The Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus and other relevant materials (when they become available) filed with the SEC may be obtained free of charge at the SEC’s Website at http://www.sec.gov. Shareholders are urged to read the Joint Proxy Statement and the other relevant materials before voting on the transaction.
Investors will also be able to obtain these documents, free of charge, from West Coast by accessing West Coast’s website at www.wcb.com under the heading “Investor Relations” or from Columbia at www.columbiabank.com under the tab “About Us” and then under the heading “Investor Relations.” Copies can also be obtained, free of charge, by directing a written request to Columbia Banking System, Inc., Attention: Corporate Secretary, 1301 A Street, Suite 800, Tacoma, Washington 98401-2156 or to West Coast Bancorp, 5335 Meadows Road, Suite 201, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035.