Independence Bank has agreed to acquire CommerceBancorp for $16 million in cash, which would increase the assets of Encino-based Independence by 50% and make it one of California's 25 largest banks.
Independence, with about $400 million in assets, has 15 offices in Southern California. The bank was acquired in October, 1985, by Saudi Arabian financier Ghaith R. Pharaon.
CommerceBancorp is the parent of CommerceBank, a Newport Beach-based institution with $210 million in assets and branches in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and Long Beach.
Independence agreed to pay about $13.50 for each of CommerceBancorp's shares, which are publicly traded. The offer is subject to approval by CommerceBancorp stockholders and regulatory authorities. The banks said the sale should be completed by the spring.