SANTA ROSA -- AltaPacific Bancorp. (OTCBB: ABNK) today announced it has completed a merger with Covina-based Stellar Business Bank, a move first announced in September and approved by shareholders earlier this month.

The combined institution, which remains AltaPacific Bank, has more than $202 million in assets and equity capital in excess of $43 million. Shareholders of Stellar will receive 0.8443 shares of AltaPacific stock in exchange for their current shares.

Santa Rosa-based AltaPacific also noted the resignation of Timothy Walbridge, Stellar's president and CEO. He originally was set to join AltaPacific’s management team and board of directors after the merger. Harold Borak, founding director of Stellar, will take his place on the board of AltaPacific Bancorp and AltaPacific Bank, along with former Stellar board Chairman Richard Jett.

“On behalf of the AltaPacific Bancorp board of directors, I would like to thank our shareholders for their approval of this merger, which unites two successful community banks who share a common commitment to serving the needs of business professionals,” said Tim Jorstad, AltaPacific board chairman. He also thanked Mr. Walbridge for his work during the merger.

The merger about doubles AltaPacific's assets and increases the bank's footprint in Southern California, a market that Chief Financial Officer Allen Christenson said is familiar to many members of the staff.

Stellar maintains two offices in Covina, a town outside Los Angeles. Their main office includes a dedicated U.S. Small Business Administration lending department, with administrative offices elsewhere in town.

AltaPacific maintains a branch in Rancho Cucamonga, also in Southern California. The merger also adds SBA-backed lending to the options available to AltaPacific customers, according to Charles Hall, president and CEO of AltaPacific. Stellar is a preferred lender through the SBA, a designation that allows for a streamlined loan process.

“This union leads our entry into the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles County, expanding our presence in the Southern California region,” Mr. Hall said.

AltaPacific earned $304,000 in 2011 and saw its assets grow by 44.5 percent, to a total of $115.3 million. The bank's Friday closing stock price was unchanged at $9 a share.