Sterling Financial Corporation Announces Divestiture of Three Retail Branches

  Sterling Financial Corporation Announces Divestiture of Three Retail
  Branches

         Sterling Bank to sell three branches to Bank of the Pacific

Business Wire

SPOKANE, Wash. -- January 29, 2013

Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) today announced that its
principal operating subsidiary, Sterling Savings Bank (“Sterling”), has
entered into a definitive agreement to sell three retail branches to Bank of
the Pacific, the principal operating subsidiary of Pacific Financial
Corporation. The branches are located in Astoria, Ore., Seaside, Ore., and
Aberdeen, Wash.

The transaction is expected to be finalized by the end of the second quarter
of 2013, and is subject to regulatory approval and other customary closing
conditions. In accordance with the terms of the definitive agreement, Pacific
will pay a 2.77 percent deposit premium on core in-market deposits to acquire
approximately $50 million of deposits and $6 million of performing loans and
certain other assets and liabilities.

Sterling was advised by the investment banking firm of McAdams Wright Ragen
Inc. and the law firm of Bingham McCutchen LLP.

About Sterling Financial Corporation

Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) of Spokane, Washington, is the
bank holding company for Sterling Savings Bank, a Washington state chartered
and federally insured commercial bank. Sterling Savings Bank does business as
Sterling Bank and, in California, as Sonoma Bank. Sterling offers banking
products and services, mortgage lending, and trust and investment products to
individuals, small businesses, corporations and other commercial
organizations. As of December 31, 2012, Sterling had assets of $9.24 billion
and operated depository branches in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California.
Visit Sterling's website at www.bankwithsterling.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements in this press release, including, without limitation,
statements as to the impact of the purchase and assumption transaction,
statements as to the Company’s or Sterling’s management beliefs, expectations
or opinions, and all other statements in this press release, other than
historical facts, are “forward-looking statements” and are intended to be
covered by the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995. When used in this release, the words “expects,”
“anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “seeks,” “estimates” and
similar expressions are generally intended to identify forward-looking
statements. Actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in
these forward-looking statements because such statements are inherently
subject to significant assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are
difficult to predict and are generally beyond the Company's control. These
risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the ability of
Sterling and Bank of the Pacific to complete the proposed transaction on the
terms summarized above or other acceptable terms, or at all, due to a number
of factors, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals or the
satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. Other factors that could
cause actual conditions, events or results to differ significantly from those
described in the forward-looking statements may be found under the headings
“Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial
Condition and Results of Operations” in the Company's Annual Report on Form
10-K, as updated periodically in the Company's periodic filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, which are available online at www.sec.gov.
The Company disclaims any intent or obligation to publicly update or revise
any forward-looking statements, regardless of whether new information becomes
available, future developments occur or otherwise.

Contact:

Sterling Financial Corporation
Media contact:
Cara L. Coon, 509-626-5348
cara.coon@bankwithsterling.com
or
Investor contact:
Patrick Rusnak , 509-227-0961
patrick.rusnak@bankwithsterling.com
 
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