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San Diego Trust Bank, with three local branches and just under $200 million in deposits, cleared a regulatory hurdle April 23 when the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the California Department of Financial Institutions approved its acquisition by Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. of Orange County, which already operates 10 branches in Southern California.

The acquisition, first announced last month, continues a trend of smaller banks being acquired and assimilated into larger institutions, though on a lesser scale than mergers in recent years that have seen “too big to fail” behemoths such as Chase swallowing up the largest surviving savings-and-loan, Washington Mutual, or US Bancorp’s acquisitions of regional notables San Diego National Bank and Downey Savings & Loan, among others.

“We are pleased to have quickly reached another milestone towards the completion of our merger with SDTB,” said Pacific Premier president and CEO Steven R. Garner in a release yesterday. “The SDTB merger, which includes $242.0 million in total assets and $187.9 million in total deposits at December 31, 2012, will strengthen the Bank's core deposit generating capabilities to fund future loan growth and allow us the opportunity to expand into the San Diego marketplace.”

San Diego Trust, founded in 2003, was a desirable target in that it claimed no delinquent loans on its books and had posted 33 consecutive quarters of profitability prior to the announced sale.

According to a March 6 UT San Diego article, shareholders in San Diego Trust will receive $13.41 in cash or 1.114 shares in Pacific Premier as part of the buyout, though the cash contribution by Pacific Premier is limited to half the total purchase price, or about $15.3 million. Pacific Premier stock fell from $14.50 to $13.36 on the March announcement, and have since dropped further to close at $12.75 on Tuesday.

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