Umpqua Holdings in talks to buy Sterling Financial for about $1.8 billion: report

Mon Sep 9, 2013 2:29pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Umpqua Holdings Corp (UMPQ.O) is in advanced talks to buy private equity-backed Sterling Financial Corp STSA.O in a deal that may be valued at about $1.8 billion, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing people with knowledge of the discussions.

The talks may still collapse and there's no guarantee a transaction will occur, the report said. (r.reuters.com/vab92v)

Spokane-based Sterling Financial is backed by Warburg Pincus LLC and Thomas H Lee Partners LP, which each own about 21 percent of the lender, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Umpqua Holdings shares rose 7 percent to $17.36, while Sterling Financial shares were up 4 percent at $27.90 in afternoon trading on the Nasdaq on Monday.

(Reporting by Aman Shah in Bangalore)

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