Sale approved for two state banks

Spokane-based AmericanWest Bancorp announced Thursday that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington has approved a sale order allowing the parent company to sell its AmericanWest Bank and Far West Bank to a subsidiary of SKBHC Holdings.

The court approval “brings us to the final step in recapitalizing the bank,” said Pat Rusnak, AmericanWest president and CEO, in a release.

Scott Kisting, chairman and CEO of SKBHC, said his investment group had been interested in the bank because of its employees, customers and the communities it serves.

Northwest banks that showed an interest in AmericanWest, including Columbia Bank of Tacoma and Umpqua Bank of Oregon, did not make a final bid on the institution.

When the sale closes, likely by Dec. 31, SKBHC will contribute up to $200 million to AmericanWest.