Banner Corporation Shareholders Approve Amendment to Articles and Issuance of Stock in Connection with AmericanWest Bank Acquisition

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Lloyd W. Baker, CFO

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Banner Corporation Shareholders Approve Amendment to Articles and
Issuance of Stock in Connection with AmericanWest Bank Acquisition



Walla Walla, WA – March 17, 2015 - Banner Corporation (NASDAQ GSM: BANR) today announced that a Special Meeting of Banner shareholders was held on March 17, 2015 at its corporate offices in Walla Walla. At the Special Meeting, shareholders approved an amendment to Banner’s Articles of Incorporation to create a new class of Banner non-voting common stock and approved the issuance of an aggregate of 13,230,000 shares of Banner common stock and Banner non-voting common stock in accordance with the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of November 5, 2014, by and among Banner Corporation, SKBHC Holdings LLC and Starbuck Bancshares, Inc.


The proposed merger remains subject to regulatory approval and Banner estimates that the closing of the merger will occur late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2015, assuming all regulatory approvals are received and assuming the other conditions to closing of the merger are satisfied or waived.


About the Company

Banner Corporation is a $5.2 billion bank holding company operating two commercial banks in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Banner serves the Pacific Northwest region with a full range of deposit services and business, commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and consumer loans. Visit Banner Bank on the Web at


Forward-Looking Statements


When used in this Current Report on Form 8-K and in other documents filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), in press releases or other public stockholder communications, or in oral statements made with the approval of an authorized executive officer, the words or phrases “believe,” “will,” “will likely result,” “may,” “shall,” “are expected to,” “will continue,” “is anticipated,” “estimate,” “project,” “plans,” “forecast,” “initiative,” “objective,” “goal,” “outlook,” “priorities,” “target,” “intend,” “evaluate,” “pursue,” “commence,” or the negative of any of those words or phrases or similar expressions are intended to identify “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable federal securities laws, including the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date such statements are made. These statements may relate to future financial performance, strategic plans or objectives, revenues or earnings projections, or other financial information. By their nature, these statements are subject to numerous uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in the statements. Statements about the expected timing, completion and effects of the proposed transactions and all other statements in this release other than historical facts constitute forward-looking statements.


Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated or projected include, but are not limited to, the following: (1) expected revenues, cost savings, synergies and other benefits from the proposed business combination of Banner and Starbuck might not be realized within the expected time frames or at all and costs or difficulties relating to integration matters, including but not limited to customer and employee retention, might be greater than expected; (2) the requisite shareholder and regulatory approvals for the transactions might not be obtained; (3) the credit risks of lending activities, including changes in the level and direction of loan delinquencies and write-offs and changes in estimates of the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses, which could necessitate additional provisions for loan losses, resulting both from loans originated and loans acquired from other financial institutions; (4) results of examinations by regulatory authorities, including the possibility that any such regulatory authority may, among other things, require increases in the allowance for loan losses or writing down of assets; (5) competitive pressures among depository institutions; (6) interest rate movements and their impact on customer behavior and net interest margin; (7) the impact of repricing and competitors' pricing initiatives on loan and deposit products; (8) fluctuations in real estate values; (9) the ability to adapt successfully to technological changes to meet customers' needs and developments in the market place; (10) the ability to access cost-effective funding; (11) changes in financial markets; (12) changes in economic conditions in general and in Washington, Idaho, Oregon and California in particular; (13) the costs, effects and outcomes of litigation; (14) new legislation or regulatory changes, including but not limited to the Dodd-Frank Act and regulations adopted thereunder, changes in capital requirements pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Act and the implementation of the Basel III capital standards, other governmental initiatives affecting the financial services industry and changes in federal and/or state tax laws or interpretations thereof by taxing authorities; (15) changes in accounting principles, policies or guidelines; (16) future acquisitions by Banner or Starbuck of other depository institutions or lines of business; and (17) future goodwill impairment due to changes in Banner’s business, changes in market conditions, or other factors.


Banner does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statement to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date on which the forward-looking statement is made except where expressly required by law.