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Conejo Valley Bank Agrees to Ventura Bancorp Offer

Times Staff Writer

Conejo Valley National Bank has agreed to be acquired by Ventura County National Bancorp, a fast-growing, Oxnard-based company, in a stock deal valued at $10.4 million.

The proposed merger, which requires the approval of the directors of both concerns and government regulators, would create an institution with $10.6 million in capital and $129.7 million in assets.

Officials representing the merger partners said Conejo will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of the bank holding company, whose primary operating unit is Ventura County National Bank. Based in Thousand Oaks, Conejo also has branches in Westlake Village and Camarillo. Ventura County National has branches in Oxnard, Camarillo and Ventura, and will open another in Thousand Oaks.

William McAleer, president of Ventura County National Bancorp, said Friday that four Conejo directors will join his company’s 11-member board, and four members of his board will take seats on Conejo’s 14-member board. He said it has not been decided if the boards will expand or if some incumbents will leave.

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Conejo to Retain Identity

McAleer added that, although data-processing and some other operations will be integrated, Conejo will retain its identity, branches and current president, Lewis Stone.

The merger partners both are publicly held and cater heavily to business customers, especially Ventura County National, which calls its branches “business service centers.”

It agreed to pay 1.4212 shares of its stock for each of the roughly 585,000 shares of Conejo outstanding. That represents a premium of more than $5 a share over Friday’s closing bid price of $12 for Conejo.

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Ventura County National closed Friday at $12.50 a share. Over-the-counter trading in both stocks, halted on Tuesday after rumors of the planned merger leaked, resumed Friday.

As of March 31, Conejo had net worth of $5.2 million and assets of $57.1 million. For the year ended Dec. 31, Conejo earned $550,000.

It opened in Thousand Oaks on Jan. 17, 1983, merged with Village Bank in Westlake Village on Sept. 7, 1984, and acquired the Camarillo branch of Lloyd’s Bank 17 days later.

As of March 31, Ventura County National had net worth of $5.4 million and assets of $72.6 million.

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