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COLUMBIA BANKING SYSTEM FILES S-4 REGISTRATION STATEMENT FOR ACQUISITION OF COLUMBIA NATIONAL BANKSHARES

 BELLEVUE, Wash., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Arnold G. Espe, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Columbia Banking System Inc. (NASDAQ: COLB), today announced the company has filed an S-4 Registration Statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in connection with its previously announced acquisition of Columbia National Bankshares and its subsidiary commercial bank, Columbia National Bank.
 Columbia Banking System's SEC filing anticipates the company's shareholders' meeting, which will be held on June 29. However, the meeting could be rescheduled depending upon when the proxy materials are cleared for distribution to shareholders. The shareholders' meeting will be held in Tacoma, Wash., further emphasizing the importance the company is placing on the Pierce County market.
 The Columbia National Bankshares acquisition will pave the way for Columbia Banking System's expansion into commercial banking in Pierce County. The expansion effort will be led by W.W. "Bill" Philip, former chairman and chief executive officer of Puget Sound Bancorp. Following the merger, the commercial bank, operating under the Columbia Bank name, and Columbia Banking System will be headquartered in Tacoma.
 Philip stated he and Espe had determined that in order to take advantage of the growth potential in Pierce County, it will be necessary for the commercial bank to establish broad branch coverage in the greater Tacoma area as soon as possible. That plan will require spending substantial dollars to purchase and lease real property and equipment, hire experienced personnel and otherwise prepare for anticipated large volumes of business.
 Espe noted that "in many respects, this effort will be similar to the establishment of a new bank. Therefore until the commercial bank generates sufficient income to cover expenses, we anticipate a period of losses. However, unlike a normal start-up bank, we expect losses to be partially offset by earnings from Columbia's other operating subsidiaries."
 Columbia Banking System is the holding company for Columbia Bank, FSB, which has four offices in Western Washington: two in Longview, one in Woodland and one in Bellevue. The headquarters for the savings bank will remain in Bellevue after the pending acquisition. Columbia First Service, the savings bank's mortgage subsidiary, has offices in Bellevue, Seattle and Longview.
 -0- 5/12/93
 /CONTACT: Gayle Cloud of Cloud Public Relations, 206-453-5583, for Columbia Banking System; or Arnold G. Espe, chairman, 206-646-5370, or J. Mike Dunn, vice president, marketing director, 206-646-5373, or after hours, 206-488-4874, both of Columbia Banking System/
 (COLB)


CO: Columbia Banking System Inc.; Columbia National Bankshares ST: Washington IN: FIN SU: TNM

LM -- SE003 -- 7419 05/12/93 09:25 EDT @ @
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 12, 1993
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