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SALE OF CAL REP BANCORP INC. TO FIRST INTERSTATE BANCORP TO CLOSE DEC. 10, BRANCHES TO CONVERT OVER WEEKEND

 LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- First Interstate Bancorp (NYSE: I) announced today that its acquisition of Bakersfield-based Cal Rep Bancorp Inc. and its sole subsidiary, California Republic Bank, will be completed late today, Friday, Dec. 10.
 The two banks had announced on May 25 that Cal Rep would sell its 12 branch offices, $569 million in assets and more than 64,000 customer accounts to First Interstate in a stock exchange valued at $68 million, equaling 1.56 times Cal Rep's book value as of March 31, 1993.
 Ten of the California Republic Bank branches are in Kern County and two are in northern Los Angeles County's Antelope Valley. First Interstate's acquisition of Bakersfield's largest independent bank will make First Interstate the second-largest bank in Kern County.
 Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, First Interstate Bancorp will exchange approximately 1.2 million shares of its common stock for the approximately 2.7 million shares of Cal Rep common stock outstanding. Cal Rep shareholders will receive detailed instructions by late December concerning the process of exchanging their Cal Rep shares for First Interstate Bancorp shares.
 Conversion of the California Republic Bank offices to First Interstate Bank of California offices will take place over the Dec. 11-12 weekend, including consolidation of a California Republic Bank Branch in Lancaster in the Antelope Valley into First Interstate's Lancaster branch and consolidation of a First Interstate Bakersfield branch into a neighboring California Republic branch. In the first quarter of 1994, First Interstate will relocate its Bakersfield Main Branch into California Republic's headquarters office.
 Once the conversion is complete, First Interstate will operate 12 branch offices in Kern County and three in Antelope Valley, with more than $790 million in assets and about 290 employees.
 First Interstate Bancorp was ranked as the 14th-largest commercial banking company in the United States as of Sept. 30, 1993, and is the largest based in Southern California. Its more than 1,000 domestic offices in 13 western states serve individuals, small businesses, middle market companies and selected large corporations and financial institutions. First Interstate provides quality, common financial products and services marketed at the local level to nearly 5 million households in over 500 western U.S. communities.
 The principal subsidiary of First Interstate Bancorp., First Interstate Bank of California is the third-largest bank in the state, with more than $20 billion in assets and 338 branch offices after the Cal Rep acquisition.
 -0- 12/10/93
 /CONTACT: Rich Wyler, 213-614-4462 (office) or 213-613-5995 (pager)/
 (I)


CO: First Interstate Bancorp; First Interstate Bank of California;
 Cal Rep Bancorp Inc. ST: California IN: FIN SU: TNM


EH-JB -- LA014 -- 2549 12/10/93 10:40 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 10, 1993
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