Sierra West, Bank of the West merger finalized |

Sierra West, Bank of the West merger finalized

SierraWest Bank’s merger with Bank of the West was finalized Thursday, July 1.

The revenues of both banks will be merged and the signs changed between now and Labor Day.

SierraWest Bancorp, with assets of $900 million, is the holding company for SierraWest Bank, headquartered in Truckee, Calif., with 20 branches in Sacramento, Contra Costa, and Solano counties, all in California.

“The merger is going very smoothly. So many staff have been retained around the lake. Everybody’s working very hard to assimilate new information,” said Bill Fike, former president and chief executive officer of SierraWest who has joined Bank of the West as head of the Small Business Administration lending department.

“All of the staff changes have been identified already and we don’t expect more.”

Fike was not sure of the totoal number of job cuts that occurred, but said that there weren’t as many cuts as bank officials had originally thought. In April, 90 employees recieved letters that their jobs would be discontinued.

“There has been some transition

in both directions,” said Fike.

BancWest Corp. is a bank holding company with total assets of $15.4 billion, headquartered in San Francisco.

BancWest’s principal subsidiaries are Bank of the West and Honolulu-based First Hawaiian Bank, with 59 branches in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan.

Bank of the West was founded in 1874 and is the third oldest and fifth largest bank in California.

It operates 146 branches, 104 in Northern and Central California, 30 in Oregon, nine in Washington and three in Idaho.

The transaction was be a stock-for-stock exchange with SierraWest shareholders receiving 0.82 shares of BancWest common stock, the value of the transaction at about $180 million, based on the most recent closing price of BancWest common stock.

SierraWest personnel earlier said the merger would provide more clout and increased services from the blending of the two firms.

Customers and shareholders will find the merger beneficial because they will have access to a broader range of products, said bank officials.

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