Pacific Commerce Bank in Little Tokyo announced Thursday that it had reached an agreement to buy Chula Vista’s Vibra Bank, becoming the latest L.A.-area bank to hop onboard the merger train.

The combined institution will have assets of about $357 million, which would make it Los Angeles County’s 34th largest bank. Pacific Commerce is currently No. 41, with assets of $209 million. Vibra has just one branch. Pacific Commerce has two branches in Los Angeles and one in San Diego.

Pacific Commerce will pay 120 percent of Vibra’s book value as of the month prior to closing, expected in the first quarter of next year. In Los Angeles’ last bank merger, Seattle’s HomeStreet Inc. bought Simplicity Bancorp Inc. in Covina for a price that is likely to be below book, which is unusually cheap.

Vibra’s chief executive, Frank Mercardante, will become chief executive of Pacific Commerce. Pacific Commerce’s current chief executive, Scott Andrews, will serve as president.

“The combined footprint of the two banks will enable us to more effectively compete for business in the greater Southern California marketplace,” Mercardante said in a press release announcing the deal.

Pacific Commerce Bank was founded in 2002, initially targeting the Japanese-American business community. It deliberately expanded its focus in 2006 with the launch of new lending divisions designed to serve a more diverse clientele.

The combined institution will have assets of about $357 million, which would make it Los Angeles County’s 34th largest bank. Pacific Commerce is currently No. 41, with assets of $209 million. Vibra has just one branch. Pacific Commerce has two branches in Los Angeles and one in San Diego.

Pacific Commerce will pay 120 percent of Vibra’s book value as of the month prior to closing, expected in the first quarter of next year. In Los Angeles’ last bank merger, Seattle’s HomeStreet Inc. bought Simplicity Bancorp Inc. in Covina for a price that is likely to be below book, which is unusually cheap.

Vibra’s chief executive, Frank Mercardante, will become chief executive of Pacific Commerce. Pacific Commerce’s current chief executive, Scott Andrews, will serve as president.

“The combined footprint of the two banks will enable us to more effectively compete for business in the greater Southern California marketplace,” Mercardante said in a press release announcing the deal.

Pacific Commerce Bank was founded in 2002, initially targeting the Japanese-American business community. It deliberately expanded its focus in 2006 with the launch of new lending divisions designed to serve a more diverse clientele.

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