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Farmers & Merchants raising Bank of Rio Vista stake to majority ownership

In California, Farmers & Merchants Bancorp has applied to acquire up to 600 more of Rio Vista-based Bank of Rio Vista's common shares.

The Lodi-based buyer on July 20 had completed the purchase of a 34.55% stake from Jeanne McCormack and Albert Medvitz, bringing its total ownership to 39.45%. The acquisition of another 15% will raise its holdings to 54.45%.

A majority stake in Bank of Rio Vista means Farmers & Merchants will enter Solano County with one branch, where it will rank ninth with a 2.73% share of approximately $4.50 billion in total market deposits. It will expand in Sacramento County by one branch, to be ranked No. 11 with a 1.21% share of approximately $32.45 billion in total market deposits. It will also grow in San Joaquin County, where it will rank fourth with a 13.97% share of approximately $10.01 billion in total market deposits.

As of June 30, Bank of Rio Vista had $221.8 million in assets; Farmers & Merchants' subsidiary, Farmers & Merchants Bank of Central California, had $3.01 billion.

For reference, SNL valuations for bank and thrift targets in the West between Sept. 19, 2016, and Sept. 19, 2017, averaged 171.71% of book, 185.51% of tangible book and had a median of 24.59x last-12-months earnings, on an aggregate basis.

Stuart Moore Staub served as Farmers & Merchants' legal counsel, with Kenneth Moore, John Stuart, Richard Perry Jr. and Barnet Reitner as lead counsels.

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