St. Louis Entity to Buy Irvine City Bank

Irvine City Bank, a small savings and loan, said Monday that it has reached a definitive agreement to be sold to a St. Louis banking company for nearly $4.2 million, or $12 a share.

The thrift previously said that it had a tentative agreement for its acquisition by First Banks Inc., which also has tentative agreements to buy Commercial Center Bank in Santa Ana for $32.5 million and Huntington National Bank in Huntington Beach for $11.8 million.

First Banks, which operates banks and S&Ls; in Missouri, Texas and Illinois, also has agreed to invest $5 million in Queen City Bancorp in Long Beach, the parent of Queen City Bank. First Banks wants to build a large banking operation in Orange County through acquisitions.

William S. Smith, Irvine City's president, said he hopes the deal will be closed by the end of May. It must first be approved by regulators.

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