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 CorporationSterling 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 StatementsCertain 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 and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the ability of Sterling to 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.