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Washington Federal Buy

It will pay $99 million for First Federal of the Southwest.

Washington Federal

(WFSL)

agreed to buy

First Federal Banc of the Southwest

(FFSW)

TheStreet Recommends

for $24.14 in cash, or $99 million.

The merger is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2007, pending the receipt of regulatory approvals and the approval of First Federal's shareholders.

After the merger, Washington Federal will have 138 offices in eight western states with total assets of about $9.4 billion and total deposits of about $5.7 billion.

"We are very pleased to be able to enter the growing New Mexico market through a merger with this fine organization. All existing First Federal branches will continue to operate as usual and we warmly and enthusiastically welcome their employees and customers to the Company," Washington Federal said. "We anticipate this acquisition will be accretive to earnings in 2007 with additional earnings growth through the coming years."

First Federal rose $5.47 to $23.62.

This story was created through a joint venture between TheStreet.com and IRIS.