Banner Announces Termination of Agreement With Home

WALLA WALLA, Wash., Oct. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Banner Corporation (Nasdaq:BANR), the parent company of Banner Bank and Islanders Bank, announced today that the Agreement and Plan of Merger ("Agreement") it entered into on September 24, 2013 with Home Federal Bancorp, Inc. ("Home") has been terminated. On October 16, 2013, Home's Board declared that it had received a Superior Proposal from Cascade Bancorp. Under the terms of the Agreement, Banner had the right to match Cascades' offer through October 22, 2013.

"We spent a significant amount of time analyzing and structuring the transaction with Home and believe that it would have mutually benefited both organizations," said Mark Grescovich, Banner's President and CEO. "While it is unfortunate that the transaction has been terminated, we will maintain our discipline in evaluating future opportunities. That means that we will structure transactions that provide fair value with upside potential to our shareholders. Our agreement with Home struck that balance and we continue to believe it was a transaction that would have added significant value to their customers, employees and communities. We respect and maintain high regard for everyone at Home Federal and wish them the very best." Grescovich continued, "Banner will continue to proactively seek acquisition opportunities in our markets, including Boise, and look forward to partnering with companies that share our goal of becoming the premier bank in the Northwest."

In connection with the termination of the Agreement, Home paid a termination fee of approximately $3.0 million to Banner.

About the Company

Banner Corporation is a $4.28 billion bank holding company operating two commercial banks in Washington, Oregon and Idaho. Banner serves the Pacific Northwest region with a full range of deposit services and business, commercial real estate, construction, residential, agricultural and consumer loans. Visit Banner Bank on the Web at

This press release contains statements that the Company believes are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to the Company's financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, plans, objectives, future performance or business. You should not place undue reliance on these statements, as they are subject to risks and uncertainties. When considering these forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind these risks and uncertainties, as well as any cautionary statements the Company may make. Moreover, you should treat these statements as speaking only as of the date they are made and based only on information then actually known to the Company. There are a number of important factors that could cause future results to differ materially from historical performance and these forward-looking statements. Factors which could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated or implied by our forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, expected revenues, cost savings, synergies and other benefits from the Banner-Home merger might not be realized within the expected time frames or at all and costs or difficulties relating to integration matters, including but not limited to customer and employee retention, might be greater than expected; the requisite stockholder and regulatory approvals for the Banner-Home merger might not be obtained; the credit risks of lending activities, including changes in the level and trend of loan delinquencies and write-offs and changes in our allowance for loan losses and provision for loan losses that may be impacted by deterioration in the housing and commercial real estate markets and may lead to increased losses and non-performing assets and may result in our allowance for loan losses not being adequate to cover actual losses and require us to materially increase our reserves; changes in general economic conditions, either nationally or in our market areas; changes in the levels of general interest rates and the relative differences between short and long-term interest rates, loan and deposit interest rates, our net interest margin and funding sources; fluctuations in the demand for loans, the number of unsold homes, land and other properties and fluctuations in real estate values in our market areas; secondary market conditions for loans and our ability to sell loans in the secondary market; results of examinations of us by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and of our bank subsidiaries by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions or other regulatory authorities, including the possibility that any such regulatory authority may, among other things, institute a formal or informal enforcement action against us or any of the Banks which could require us to increase our reserve for loan losses, write-down assets, change our regulatory capital position or affect our ability to borrow funds or maintain or increase deposits, or impose additional requirements and restrictions on us, any of which could adversely affect our liquidity and earnings; legislative or regulatory changes that adversely affect our business including changes in regulatory policies and principles, or the interpretation of regulatory capital or other rules including changes related to Basel III; the impact of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the implementing regulations; our ability to attract and retain deposits; increases in premiums for deposit insurance; our ability to control operating costs and expenses; the use of estimates in determining fair value of certain of our assets and liabilities, which estimates may prove to be incorrect and result in significant changes in valuations; staffing fluctuations in response to product demand or the implementation of corporate strategies that affect our workforce and potential associated charges; the failure or security breach of computer systems on which we depend; our ability to retain key members of our senior management team; costs and effects of litigation, including settlements and judgments; our ability to implement our business strategies; our ability to successfully integrate any assets, liabilities, customers, systems, and management personnel we may acquire into our operations and our ability to realize related revenue synergies and cost savings within expected time frames and any goodwill charges related thereto; our ability to manage loan delinquency rates; increased competitive pressures among financial services companies; changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits; the availability of resources to address changes in laws, rules, or regulations or to respond to regulatory actions; our ability to pay dividends on our common stock and interest or principal payments on our junior subordinated debentures; adverse changes in the securities markets; inability of key third-party providers to perform their obligations to us; changes in accounting policies and practices, as may be adopted by the financial institution regulatory agencies or the Financial Accounting Standards Board including additional guidance and interpretation on accounting issues and details of the implementation of new accounting methods; the economic impact of war or terrorist activities; other economic, competitive, governmental, regulatory, and technological factors affecting our operations, pricing, products and services; and other risks detailed in Banner Corporation's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012. We do not undertake and specifically disclaim any obligation to revise any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. These risks could cause our actual results for 2013 and beyond to differ materially from those expressed in any forward-looking statements by, or on behalf of, us, and could negatively affect our operating and stock price performance.

CONTACT: MARK J. GRESCOVICH, PRESIDENT & CEO LLOYD W. BAKER, CFO (509) 527-3636Source:Banner Corporation