P.M. BRIEFING : Firstar, Banks of Iowa to Merge

From Times Wire Services

Firstar Corp. and Banks of Iowa Inc. said today they have agreed to merge in a stock swap valued at about $200 million.

The companies said it will be the first interstate merger agreement in Iowa since that state approved an interstate banking law earlier this year.

The agreement calls for Firstar, which is an $8.5-billion bank holding company based in Milwaukee, to exchange 2.7 of its shares for each outstanding share of the common stock of Banks of Iowa, a $2.5-billion bank holding company based in Des Moines.

Based on the closing price of Firstar stock Friday on the New York Stock Exchange, Banks of Iowa shareholders will receive a Firstar stock with a value of about $75.60 per share or a total of $219.1 million.

The Iowa company will become Firstar Corp. of Iowa upon completion of the transaction, and the combined organization will have 52 banks and 174 offices in Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Arizona, as well as a trust subsidiary in Florida.

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