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BBCN Bancorp to buy Wilshire Bancorp in $1 billion deal

Staff writer |
BBCN Bancorp, a California-based bank that caters mainly to the Korean-American community, said it would buy smaller rival Wilshire Bancorp in a tax-free, all-stock deal valued at about $1 billion.

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BBCN's move to buy Wilshire comes two weeks after Hanmi Financial proposed to merge with BBCN in an all-stock deal valued at about $1.6 billion. The bank has acknowledged receiving Hanmi's unsolicited offer but has not made public its intentions.

BBCN's offer for Wilshire is valued at $13 per share, a premium of 10.5 percent to Wilshire's Friday close.

BBCN shareholders will own 59 percent of the new company, while Wilshire shareholders will own 41 percent after the deal closes, expected by mid-2016.

The combined company will be the seventh largest bank in California and will have $12.3 billion in total assets and $10 billion in deposits, the companies said.

BBCN Chief Executive Kevin Kim will lead the combined company, which will be renamed before the deal closes.

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