Washington Banking, Heritage merger OK’d

HBJ Staff

OAK HARBOR — Shareholders for Washington Banking Co. overwhelmingly approved a merger Tuesday with Heritage Financial Corp.

Washington Banking is the parent company for Whidbey Island Bank.

More than 97 percent of the shares voting at a special meeting in Oak Harbor were favor of the merger, representing more than 80 percent of all outstanding shares.

“With the approval of both our shareholders and Heritage’s shareholders, we are on track to complete this business combination of two of Washington’s strongest banking franchises,” said Jack Wagner, Washington Banking’s president and CEO, in a statement.

The merger has received the required regulatory approval and is on track to close by about May 1.

Upon completion, each outstanding share of Washington Banking common stock, other than dissenting shares, will be converted into the right to receive 0.89000 of a share of Heritage common stock and $2.75 in cash.

The combined company will take the Heritage name and have more than 70 branches along the I-5 corridor from Bellingham to Portland.

Six Washington Banking branches will retain the Whidbey Island Bank name. All other Whidbey Island branches, including those in Snohomish County, will be called Heritage Bank.