Sierra Bancorp, the holding company of Bank of the Sierra, is acquiring Ojai Community Bank from OCB Bancorp, it was announced this week.

The deal "solidifies Sierra Bancorp’s deposit market share in Ventura County and provides an entrée into Santa Barbara County," Sierra Bancorp said in a news release. 

As of the end of last year, Ojai Community Bank had assets of $256.6 million, total loans of $209.2 million and total deposits of $208.4 million, the news release said. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017 but still must clear regulatory and Ojai Community Bank shareholder approvals.

The companies' boards have approved the acquisition.

“We are excited about today’s announcement of Ojai Community Bank joining forces with us and welcome all Ojai employees, customers and shareholders into the Bank of Sierra family," bank President and CEO Kevin McPhaill said in the release. "Enhancing our presence on the Central Coast fits in with our long-term strategic plan. Adding branches in Ventura, Ojai and Santa Barbara increases our commitment to serving those communities."

Bank of the Sierra is 40 years old and the largest independent bank headquartered in the south San Joaquin Valley. It has 34 full-service branches throughout the valley and on the Central Coast and in Southern California.

OCB Bancorp was formed in September 2013 as the parent company of Ojai Community Bank and its divisions, Santa Barbara Community Bank, Ventura Community Bank and Santa Paula Community Bank. 

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