Sterling Financial Completes $730 Million Recap

Sterling Financial Corp. said Thursday that its completed its previously announced $730 million recapitalization. The deal includes investments from Warburg Pincus and THL Partners. Each PE firm agreed to invest $170 million each.

PRESS RELEASE

Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ:STSA) (“Sterling”), the bank holding company of Sterling Savings Bank, today announced the successful completion of its previously announced $730 million transaction raising new capital from institutional, private equity and other accredited investors. The amount of capital raised exceeds the amount required under Sterling’s agreements with its regulators and restores both Sterling’s and Sterling Savings Bank’s regulatory ratios to levels that exceed well-capitalized thresholds under applicable guidelines.

President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Seibly said, “The successful completion of this capital raise helps position Sterling as a premier community banking franchise in the Pacific Northwest. Our investors have shown confidence in Sterling’s value proposition and our ability to execute our strategic plan to create a strong, relationship-oriented bank. On behalf of all Sterling’s employees, we extend heartfelt thanks to our customers and our communities for their loyalty and support.”

Seibly added, “Throughout the process, we worked closely with state and federal regulators to create a positive solution. Sterling’s dedicated employees focused their energies on addressing legacy credit issues, growing core deposits and distinguishing our customer service capabilities. Together, we are building a reliable community-banking platform for the long term.”

Earlier this year, Sterling ranked “Highest Customer Satisfaction with Retail Banking in the Northwest Region” in the J.D. Powers and Associates 2010 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study. The Northwest Region includes Washington and Oregon.

Sterling’s financial advisors and placement agents for the company’s recapitalization efforts within the United States included Sandler O’Neill + Partners, Barclays Capital and FBR Capital Markets. Belstar Holdings, LLC acted as an advisor for Sterling on financial and other business-related matters associated with the recapitalization efforts in Korea. KB Investment & Securities Co., Ltd. acted as the placement agent for investors in Korea.

About Sterling Financial Corporation

Sterling Financial Corporation of Spokane, Wash., is the bank holding company for Sterling Savings Bank, a state-chartered and federally insured commercial bank. Sterling offers banking products and services, mortgage lending, construction financing and investment products to individuals, small businesses, commercial organizations and corporations. As of June 30, 2010, Sterling Financial Corporation had assets of $9.74 billion and operated 178 depository branches throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and California. For additional information, please visit Sterling’s website at www.sterlingfinancialcorporation-spokane.com.

Sterling Savings Bank ranked “Highest Customer Satisfaction with Retail Banking in the Northwest Region” in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Retail Banking Satisfaction Study.SM Sterling Savings Bank received the highest numerical score among retail banks in the Northwest region in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Retail Banking Satisfaction StudySM. The study was based on 47,673 total responses measuring 6 providers in the Northwest Region (OR, WA) and measures opinions of consumers with their primary banking provider. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in January 2010. Your experiences may vary.