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For the week of September 20 through 26, 2000

Wells Fargo moves out, Mountain West moves in


Wells Fargo will be moving out of Ketchum and Hailey as part of its merger with First Security Bank. Divestiture of some of the two banks’ holdings are required by federal regulators.

Glacier Bancorp, which is acquiring the Wells Fargo offices in Hailey and Ketchum, will operate the offices as branches of its Idaho subsidiary, Mountain West Bank of Coeur d’Alene.

Glacier Bancorp has its headquarters in Kalispell, Mont.

On Tuesday morning, Glacier Bancorp (GBCI) was trading at 12 on the NASDAQ; First Security (FSCO) was trading at 15 7/8; and Wells Fargo (WFC) at 45 3/16.

Glacier Bancorp will also be taking over Wells Fargo branches in Brigham City and Park City, Utah.

In the Boise area, three First Security offices (State Street, Franklin and Cole, and Nampa West) will bear the Mountain West name.

The acquisition of these branches is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2001, pending regulatory approvals. As part of the agreement, Glacier Bancorp is purchasing deposits of approximately $185 million, real estate and certain loans of the branch offices.

The seven offices currently employ 54 people whom Glacier intends to offer comparable jobs following the close of the transaction.

Mountain West’s president and CEO Jon Hippler said in a press release, "Mountain West already operates a full service office in Boise and a residential lending office in Ketchum, so the Idaho offices are a perfect complement to our previous plans for expansion in those areas."

Dick Kovacevich, Wells Fargo president and CEO, said in the same release, "It is a tremendous disappointment to have to part with the great team members at these stores and the customers. Yet government regulations are a fact of life, and we must abide by them."

Spencer F. Eccles, First Security’s chairman and CEO, said, "We looked for a buyer who we believe will deliver top-notch service, smooth transitions and make the needs of our employees a top priority."

On completion of the transaction, Mountain West will operate 10 branches in Idaho and Utah and have assets of over $300 million. Its parent company operates 26 additional offices in Montana and after the completion of the transaction will have total assets of $1.3 billion.

 

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