American Heritage Holdings (AHH), parent company for La Mesa-based Borrego Springs Bank, has agreed to be acquired for $6.5 million by Sterling Savings Bank, a subsidiary of Sterling Financial Corp. of Spokane, Wash. The deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013.
Owned for many years by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, Borrego Springs Bank has been active in Small Business Administration (SBA) loan origination. For fiscal year 2011, Borrego was among the top 20 in the nation in SBA loan origination, according to David DePillo, vice chairman and chief lending officer of Sterling.
The transaction, which has been approved by the boards of directors of Sterling and AHH, will provide a significant enhancement to Sterling’s government guaranteed lending and servicing capabilities, according to a Sterling statement. The shareholders of AHH have agreed to vote in favor of the transaction, which is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions of closing, a Sterling statement said.
As of September 30, 2012, AHH had assets of approximately $142 million, loans of $97 million, deposits of $121 million and shareholders’ equity of $13.4 million. For fiscal year 2011, AHH originated 741 SBA 7a loans with an aggregate funded amount of $161 million.
Bingham McCutchen LLP served as the legal advisor to the Company and Tisdale & Nicholson LLP served in the same capacity for AHH. Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP served as the financial advisor to AHH.

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