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Cascade chose First Interstate as partner after talks with suitor fell through

First Interstate BancSystem Inc. on Nov. 17, 2016, announced its proposed acquisition of Cascade Bancorp for about $589 million, but it had not been contacted by Cascade's financial adviser in July 2015 as a potential merger partner.

Cascade President and CEO Terry Zink was contacted in early 2016 by representatives from each of First Interstate and another party to express interest in exploring a possible deal. Unlike First Interstate, the other party had been contacted during July 2015. That party had indicated at that time that it was not then in a position to pursue a strategic transaction with Cascade.

The deal process between Cascade and the other party looked like it was headed to the signing of a merger agreement, with a nonbinding indication of interest executed and a 60-day exclusivity period entered into June 1, 2016.

Cascade's CEO informed First Interstate President and CEO Kevin Riley of the decision of Cascade's board not to continue discussions with First Interstate. But Riley indicated that Cascade should contact First Interstate if circumstances changed.

The circumstances did change. By Aug. 30, 2016, Cascade and the other party concluded that a satisfactory agreement could not be reached at that time.

With the other party out of the picture, talks between First Interstate and Cascade continued in earnest. Billings, Mont.-based First Interstate and Bend, Ore.-based Cascade ultimately entered into the merger agreement.