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Mt. Rainier National Bank sets merger

Mt. Rainier National Bank, which formed in Enumclaw in 1990 and has shown steady growth over the years, is merging with a much larger partner.

It was announced last week that the Enumclaw-based operation is joining with Tacoma-based Columbia Banking System Inc., the holding company for both Columbia Bank and Bank of Astoria.

Columbia Banking System also announced the signing of an agreement to acquire Town Center Bancorp of Portland, Ore., the holding company for Town Center Bank. Upon completion of the two transactions, the combined total assets will approach $2.9 billion and 51 branches.

The boards of both Columbia and Mountain Bank (the holding company for Mt. Rainier National Bank) have unanimously approved the transaction, which is subject to approval by Mountain Bank's shareholders, as well as regulatory approvals and other customary conditions of closing. Upon closing of the transaction, which is anticipated to take place in the third quarter of 2007, Mt. Rainier National Bank will be merged into Columbia Bank and will do business as Mt. Rainier Bank.

Terms of the agreement call for Columbia to pay $25 per Mountain Bank share, provided Columbia's stock trades within a specified range. The $25 in value will consist of $11.25 in cash and $13.75 worth of Columbia shares.

Mt. Rainier National Bank was formed in 1990 to serve the banking needs of the Enumclaw community. Since then, Mt. Rainier has expanded into several adjacent King County communities and into two markets in Pierce County. As of Dec. 31, 2006, Mountain Bank had approximately $229.9 million in assets, $164.6 million in net loans, $204.3 million in deposits and $22.3 million in shareholders' equity.

“We will benefit from the ability to offer our customers an expanded group of products and services as well as larger lending capabilities,” Steve Moergeli, chief executive officer of Mt. Rainier National Bank, said.

Moergeli will remain as Mt. Rainier Bank's president and Brooks will remain with Mt. Rainier Bank and chair an advisory board made up of current Mountain Bank directors and a Columbia representative.

Columbia Bank is a Washington state-chartered, full-service commercial bank with 35 banking offices in Pierce, King, Cowlitz, Kitsap and Thurston counties.

Mountain Bank Holding Company is a Washington corporation formed in 1993 primarily to hold all of the common stock of Mt. Rainier National Bank.

Mt. Rainier Bank provides personal and commercial banking and related financial services at its main office in Enumclaw and branch offices in Buckley, Black Diamond, Auburn, Maple Valley, and Sumner. Mt. Rainier Bank also provides loan services at a loan production office located in Federal Way.

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