Sterling Financial Corporation Completes Acquisition of American Heritage Holdings

  Sterling Financial Corporation Completes Acquisition of American Heritage
  Holdings

    Transaction expands Sterling’s SBA Lending and Servicing Capabilities

Business Wire

SPOKANE, Wash. -- March 1, 2013

Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) (the “Company”) today announced
the completion of its acquisition of American Heritage Holdings, the holding
company for Borrego Springs Bank, NA, for total cash consideration of $6.5
million. Immediately following completion of the acquisition, Borrego Springs
Bank, NA, was merged with and into the Company’s principal operating
subsidiary, Sterling Savings Bank (“Sterling”).

“This transaction expands Borrego Springs Bank’s government guaranteed lending
arena,” said David DePillo, vice chairman and chief lending officer of
Sterling. “This type of lending is a key component of our balanced business
banking delivery platform.”

Sterling expects that the Borrego Springs Bank Florida loan production office
operations, which specialize in SBA Credit Xpress loans, will cease operations
by the end of the first quarter of 2013. In addition, the Borrego Springs Bank
branch located in Alpine, Calif. will permanently close March 29, 2013. All
accounts will transfer to the La Mesa, Calif. branch.

About Sterling Financial Corporation

Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane, Wash., is the bank holding company
for Sterling Savings Bank, a state chartered and federally insured commercial
bank that operates under the trade names of Sterling Bank and Sonoma Bank (in
California). Sterling offers banking products and services, mortgage lending,
and investment products to individuals, small businesses, commercial
organizations and corporations. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had
assets of $9.2 billion and operated depository branches throughout Washington,
Oregon, Idaho and California. Visit the Company’s website at
www.sterlingfinancialcorporation.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 anduncertaintiesinclude, but are not limited to, the ability of
Sterlingto realize the expected benefits and synergies of the American
Heritage Holdings acquisition. 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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