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Valley of the Rogue adds Colonial Bank to its portfolio

Valley of the Rogue Bank will buy Colonial Banking Co. for $17.5 millionin cash.

The transaction was announced Thursday afternoon by Rollie Hutton, presidentand chief executive officer of Colonial Bank, and William Haden, presidentand CEO of VRB Bancorp, holding company for Valley of the Rogue.

They said no employees would lose their jobs in the deal.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval andis expected to close Jan 1. The cash price works out to $43.36 cents a shareto stockholders in Colonial Bank.

Valley of the Rogue, based in Rogue River, was founded in 1968. It hasnine offices and $179.6 million in assets. It is publicly owned and tradesas VRBA on Nasdaq.

Colonial Bank, based in Grants Pass, has five Rogue Valley offices anda loan production center in Portland. Assets total $108.5 million.

The acquisition is a major step in VRB Bancorp's objective to becomea $500 million financial services provider by the year 2001, accordingto a VRB news release. The combined banks' assets totaled $288.1 millionas of June 30.

Community banking would continue to be offered in each of the communitiesnow being served by Colonial Bank, said Haden. Contrary to recentmergers of multistate banks, this transaction would be successfully accomplishedwithout sacrificing customer service or employees of either bank.

Tom Anderson, VRB executive vice president, added, This will bea good fit for us. It really enhances our position and it gives us a presencein Portland.

Hutton said the merger will create a larger community bank with greateropportunities for both customers and employees.

VRB acquired Grants Pass-based based Family Bank of Commerce in 1993.It had acquired Medford State Bank in 1987. In 1983, VRB acquired two smallerfailed banks, Bear Creek Valley Bank in Phoenix and Heritage Bank in Ashland.