BBCN and Wilshire shareholders approve Koreatown bank merger
A combination of the nation’s two largest Korean American banks is set to close July 29 after shareholders of Los Angeles institutions BBCN Bancorp and Wilshire Bancorp approved a merger Thursday.
The deal, announced in December, will create a bank that is by far the country’s largest lender focused on Korean American customers.
With assets of $12.7 billion, it will be about three times the size of its closest rival, fellow Koreatown lender Hanmi Bank, which sought unsuccessfully to block the BBCN-Wilshire deal.
BBCN will buy Wilshire in an all-stock transaction valued at about $896 million at Thursday’s closing price.
Once the deal closes, the combined bank will rebrand as Bank of Hope, owned by parent company Hope Bancorp.
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