BOK Financial has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire CoBiz Financial for nearly $1bn.

The merger consideration is valued at $23.02 per share. Under the terms of the acquisition, the common shareholders of CoBiz will receive $977m of the total consideration, which would be paid in the combination of 75% stock and 25% cash.

Headquartered in Denver, CoBiz is a commercially-focused bank with more than $3.8bn in assets.

It is primarily present in the US states of Colorado and Arizona.

Following the completion of the acquisition, CoBiz chairman and CEO Steve Bangert will join the BOK Financial Board of Directors.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals and CoBiz shareholder approvals.

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BOK Financial president and CEO Steven Bradshaw said: “CoBiz is a perfect fit as a merger partner for BOK Financial.

“Steve Bangert and his team have built a well-respected commercially-focused bank that has consistently grown shareholder value, with a strong credit culture and differentiated approach to business banking.

“The two banks have enjoyed a close relationship for almost two decades, and both franchises will benefit as a result of this partnership.  We believe the combined organisation will be the premier commercial bank in Colorado and Arizona.”

He added that the transaction drives an internal rate of return of more than 20% and expected to improve the company’s return on equity and return on assets.

Furthermore, it will strengthen BOK Financial’s footprint as well as loan and deposit portfolio.

CoBiz Financial chairman and CEO Steven Bangert said: “CoBiz is joining forces with one of the most respected regional banks in the country.

“This merger will allow us to better serve our markets and provide customers with a more robust product offering, higher lending limits and a banking franchise that spans the lower Midwest and Southwest.”