Form S-4
Table of Contents

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 8, 2014

Registration No. 333-            

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

FORM S-4

REGISTRATION STATEMENT

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

 

 

TRICO BANCSHARES

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

 

California   6022   94-2792841

(State or other jurisdiction of

incorporation or organization)

 

(Primary Standard Industrial

Classification Code Number)

 

(I.R.S. Employer

Identification Number)

63 Constitution Drive

Chico, California 95973

(530) 898-0300

(Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Registrant’s Principal Executive Offices)

Richard P. Smith

President and Chief Executive Officer

TriCo Bancshares

63 Constitution Drive

Chico, California 95973

(530) 898-0300

(Name, Address, Including Zip Code, and Telephone Number, Including Area Code, of Agent for Service)

 

 

With copies to:

 

David Gershon, Esq.

Renee E. Becker, Esq.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

One Embarcadero Center, 30th Floor
San Francisco, California 94111

(415) 291-7400

 

Michael J. Cushman

Chief Executive Officer

North Valley Bancorp

300 Park Marina Circle

Redding, California 96001

(530) 226-2900

 

Joseph G. Mason, Esq.

Glenn T. Dodd, Esq.

Dodd Mason George LLP

1740 Technology Drive, Suite 205

San Jose, California 95110

(408) 452-1478

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale of the securities to the public:

As soon as practicable after this registration statement becomes effective and upon completion of the merger.

If the securities being registered on this form are being offered in connection with the formation of a holding company and there is compliance with General Instruction G, check the following box:  ¨

If this form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

If this form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):

 

Large accelerated filer   ¨    Accelerated filer   x
Non-accelerated filer   ¨    Smaller reporting company   ¨

If applicable, place an x in the box to designate the appropriate rule provision relied upon in conducting this transaction:

Exchange Act Rule 13e-4(i) (Cross-Border Issuer Tender Offer)

Exchange Act Rule 14d-1(d) (Cross-Border Third-Party Tender Offer)

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of each class of

securities to be registered

 

Amount

to be

registered

 

Proposed

maximum

offering price

per unit

 

Proposed

maximum

aggregate

offering price

  Amount of
registration fee

Common Stock, no par value (and associated preferred stock purchase rights)(4)

  6,779,460 (1)   N/A   $160,053,621 (2)   $20,615 (3)

 

 

(1) Represents the maximum number of shares of TriCo Bancshares common stock issuable in the transaction described herein, based on (x) the exchange ratio in the merger of 0.9433, and (y) an amount equal to (i) 6,836,463 shares of North Valley Bancorp common stock outstanding as of May 2, 2014, plus (ii) 350,498 shares issuable upon exercise of stock options.
(2) The proposed maximum aggregate offering price of the registrant’s common stock was calculated based upon the market value of shares of North Valley common stock (the securities to be cancelled in the merger) in accordance with Rules 457(c) and 457(f) under the Securities Act based on the product of (i) $22.27, the average of the high and low prices per share of North Valley common stock as reported on the NASDAQ Global Select Market on May 2, 2014 and (ii) 7,186,961 the estimated maximum number of shares of North Valley common stock that may be exchanged for the merger consideration (including outstanding options for North Valley common stock, on an as-converted basis). Estimated solely for the purpose of calculating the SEC filing fee.
(3) Computed pursuant to Rules 457(f)(1) and 457(c) of the Securities Act, based on a rate of $128.80 per $1,000,000 of the proposed maximum aggregate offering price.
(4) Prior to the occurrence of certain events, the preferred stock purchase rights will not be evidenced separately from the common stock.

 

 

The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Securities and Exchange Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 


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Information contained herein is subject to completion or amendment. A registration statement relating to the shares of TriCo Bancshares common stock to be issued in the merger has been filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These securities may not be sold nor may offers to buy be accepted prior to the time the registration statement becomes effective. This joint proxy statement/prospectus shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy nor shall there be any sale of these securities in any jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale is not permitted or would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such jurisdiction.

 

PRELIMINARY JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS

DATED MAY 8, 2014, SUBJECT TO COMPLETION

 

LOGO

 

 

Dear Shareholders of TriCo Bancshares:

On January 21, 2014, TriCo Bancshares, which we refer to as TriCo, entered into an agreement and plan of merger and reorganization, which we refer to as the merger agreement, to acquire North Valley Bancorp, which we refer to as North Valley, in an all-stock transaction. If the merger agreement is approved and the merger is subsequently completed, North Valley will merge with and into TriCo, with TriCo as the surviving entity.

In the merger, each share of North Valley common stock owned by a North Valley shareholder (including the associated preferred stock purchase rights) will be converted into the right to receive 0.9433 shares of TriCo common stock, which we refer to as the exchange ratio. A North Valley shareholder will receive any whole shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive and cash in lieu of any fractional shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive.

You should obtain current stock price quotations for TriCo common stock and North Valley common stock. TriCo common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “TCBK,” and North Valley common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “NOVB.”

We expect the merger to be generally tax free to North Valley shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes, except for taxes on cash received by North Valley shareholders in lieu of fractional TriCo shares.

Shareholders of TriCo will vote upon the proposed merger and related matters at TriCo’s annual meeting of shareholders at which TriCo will also vote upon proposals to elect TriCo directors, reapprove the existing performance criteria under the TriCo 2009 equity incentive plan, approve an advisory vote of executive compensation and appoint its independent auditor. North Valley will hold a special meeting of shareholders to consider the proposed merger and related matters. TriCo and North Valley cannot complete the proposed merger unless TriCo’s shareholders vote to approve the merger and approve the issuance of TriCo common stock in connection with the merger. This letter is accompanied by the attached document, which TriCo’s board of directors is providing to solicit your proxy to vote for approval of the merger and the issuance of TriCo common stock in connection with the merger and other matters in connection with its annual meeting.

The accompanying document is also being delivered to North Valley shareholders as TriCo’s prospectus for its offering of TriCo common stock in connection with the merger, and as a proxy statement for the solicitation of proxies from North Valley shareholders to vote to approve the merger.


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Your vote is very important. To ensure your representation at the TriCo annual meeting, please complete and return the enclosed proxy card or submit your proxy by telephone or through the Internet. Whether or not you expect to attend the TriCo annual meeting, please vote promptly. Submitting a proxy now will not prevent you from being able to vote in person at the TriCo annual meeting. The TriCo board of directors has unanimously approved the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby and unanimously recommends that you vote:

 

    “FOR” approval of the merger and approval and adoption of the merger agreement and approval of the issuance of TriCo common stock in the merger;

 

    “FOR” the election of TriCo’s director nominees;

 

    “FOR” the reapproval of the existing performance criteria under TriCo’s 2009 equity incentive plan;

 

    “FOR” the approval of an advisory resolution concerning the compensation of TriCo executives;

 

    “FOR” the ratification of Crowe Horwath LLP as TriCo’s principal independent auditor for 2014; and

 

    “FOR” any adjournment of the TriCo annual meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the above-listed proposals.

 

 

This document provides you with detailed information about the proposed merger. It also contains or refers to information about TriCo and North Valley and certain related matters. You are encouraged to read this document carefully. In particular, you should read the “Risk Factors” section beginning on page 23 for a discussion of the risks you should consider in evaluating the proposed merger and how it will affect you.

Sincerely,

Richard P. Smith

President and Chief Executive Officer

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of the merger, the issuance of the TriCo common stock in connection with the merger or the other transactions described in this document, or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of the disclosure in this document. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

The securities to be issued in connection with the merger are not savings accounts, deposits or other obligations of any bank or savings association and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency.

 

 

This document is dated [], and is first being mailed to shareholders of TriCo and North Valley on or about [].

 

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LOGO

To the Shareholders of North Valley Bancorp:

On January 21, 2014, TriCo Bancshares, which we refer to as TriCo, entered into an agreement and plan of merger and reorganization, which we refer to as the merger agreement, to acquire North Valley Bancorp, which we refer to as North Valley, in an all-stock transaction. If the merger agreement is approved and the merger is subsequently completed, North Valley will merge with and into TriCo, with TriCo as the surviving entity.

In the merger, each share of North Valley common stock owned by a North Valley shareholder (including the associated preferred stock purchase rights) will be converted into the right to receive 0.9433 shares of TriCo common stock, which we refer to as the exchange ratio. A North Valley shareholder will receive any whole shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive and cash in lieu of any fractional shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive.

You should obtain current stock price quotations for TriCo common stock and North Valley common stock. North Valley common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “NOVB” and TriCo common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “TCBK.”

We expect the merger to be generally tax free to North Valley shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes, except for taxes on cash received by North Valley shareholders in lieu of fractional TriCo shares.

North Valley will hold a special meeting of shareholders to consider the proposed merger and related matters. Shareholders of TriCo will vote upon the proposed merger and related matters at TriCo’s annual meeting of shareholders. TriCo and North Valley cannot complete the proposed merger unless TriCo’s shareholders vote to approve the merger and approve and adopt the merger agreement and approve the issuance of TriCo common stock in connection with the merger. This letter is accompanied by the attached document, which our board of directors is providing to solicit your proxy to vote for approval of the merger and the approval and adoption of the merger agreement.

The accompanying document is also being delivered to North Valley shareholders as TriCo’s prospectus for its offering of TriCo common stock in connection with the merger, and as a proxy statement for the solicitation of proxies from TriCo shareholders to vote for approval of the merger and the approval and adoption of the merger agreement and approval of the issuance of TriCo common stock in connection with the merger.

Your vote is very important. To ensure your representation at the North Valley special meeting, please complete and return the enclosed proxy card or submit your proxy by telephone or through the Internet. Whether or not you expect to attend the North Valley special meeting, please vote promptly. Submitting a proxy now will not prevent you from being able to vote in person at the North Valley special meeting. The North Valley board of directors has unanimously approved the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby and unanimously recommends that you vote “FOR” approval of the merger and approval and adoption of the merger agreement, “FOR” the advisory (non-binding) proposal to approve specified compensation that may become payable to the named executive officers of North Valley in connection with the merger and “FOR” any adjournment of the North Valley special meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the preceding votes.

 

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This document provides you with detailed information about the proposed merger. It also contains or refers to information about North Valley and TriCo and certain related matters. You are encouraged to read this document carefully. In particular, you should read the “Risk Factors” section beginning on page 23 for a discussion of the risks you should consider in evaluating the proposed merger and how it will affect you.

 

  Cordially,
 

J.M. (“Mike”) Wells, Jr.

Chairman of the Board

  Michael J. Cushman
  President and Chief Executive Officer

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of the merger, the issuance of the TriCo common stock in connection with the merger or the other transactions described in this document, or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of the disclosure in this document. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

The securities to be issued in connection with the merger are not savings accounts, deposits or other obligations of any bank or savings association and are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency.

This document is dated [], and is first being mailed to shareholders of North Valley and TriCo on or about [].

 

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WHERE YOU CAN FIND MORE INFORMATION

Both TriCo and North Valley file annual, quarterly and special reports, proxy statements and other business and financial information with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which we refer to as the SEC. You may read and copy any materials that either TriCo or North Valley files with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, N.E., Room 1580, Washington, D.C. 20549, at prescribed rates. Please call the SEC at (800) SEC-0330 ((800) 732-0330) for further information on the public reference room. In addition, TriCo and North Valley file reports and other business and financial information with the SEC electronically, and the SEC maintains a website located at http://www.sec.gov containing this information. You will also be able to obtain these documents, free of charge, from TriCo at www.tcbk.com/about/investor-relations/sec-filings/ or from North Valley by accessing North Valley’s website at http://www.novb.com/shareholderrelations.aspx.

TriCo has filed a registration statement on Form S-4 of which this document forms a part. As permitted by SEC rules, this document does not contain all of the information included in the registration statement or in the exhibits or schedules to the registration statement. You may read and copy the registration statement, including any amendments, schedules and exhibits at the addresses set forth below. Statements contained in this document as to the contents of any contract or other documents referred to in this document are not necessarily complete. In each case, you should refer to the copy of the applicable contract or other document filed as an exhibit to the registration statement. This document incorporates by reference documents that TriCo and North Valley have previously filed with the SEC. They contain important information about the companies and their financial condition. For further information, please see the section entitled “Incorporation of Certain Documents by Reference” beginning on page 156. These documents are available without charge to you upon written or oral request to the applicable company’s principal executive offices. The respective addresses and telephone numbers of such principal executive offices are listed below.

 

TriCo Bancshares

63 Constitution Drive

Chico, California 95973

(530) 898-0300

 

North Valley Bancorp

300 Park Marina Circle

Redding, California 96001

(530) 226-2900

To obtain timely delivery of these documents, you must request the information no later than [] in order to receive them before TriCo’s annual meeting of shareholders and no later than [] in order to receive them before North Valley’s special meeting of shareholders.

TriCo common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “TCBK,” and North Valley common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “NOVB.”

 

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TRICO BANCSHARES

63 CONSTITUTION DRIVE

CHICO, CALIFORNIA 95973

NOTICE OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

TO BE HELD ON [], 2014

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the annual meeting of the shareholders of TriCo Bancshares, which we refer to as TriCo, will be held at 63 Constitution Drive, Chico, California at [], Pacific time, on [], 2014, for the following purposes:

1. To approve the merger and to approve and adopt the Agreement and Plan of Merger and Reorganization, which we refer to as the merger agreement, dated as of January 21, 2014, by and between TriCo and North Valley, as such agreement may be amended from time to time, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A to this document, and to approve the issuance of TriCo common stock to North Valley shareholders pursuant to the merger agreement, which we refer to as the TriCo Merger proposal;

2. To elect nine directors for terms expiring at the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders;

3. To reapprove the existing performance criteria under the TriCo 2009 equity incentive plan;

4. To approve an advisory resolution concerning the compensation of TriCo executives;

5. To ratify the selection of Crowe Horwath LLP as TriCo’s principal independent auditor for 2014;

6. To approve one or more adjournments of the TriCo annual meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including adjournments to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the above referenced proposals, which we refer to as the TriCo Adjournment proposal;

7. To attend to any other business properly presented at the meeting.

TriCo will transact no other business at the annual meeting, except for business properly brought before the annual meeting or any adjournment thereof.

The TriCo Merger proposal is described in more detail in this document, which you should read carefully in its entirety before you vote. A copy of TriCo’s Annual Report on Form 10-K is enclosed. TriCo is mailing these proxy materials to its shareholders beginning on or about [].

The TriCo board of directors has set [] as the record date for the TriCo annual meeting. Only holders of record of TriCo common stock at the close of business on [] will be entitled to notice of and to vote at the TriCo annual meeting and any adjournment thereof. Any shareholder entitled to attend and vote at the TriCo annual meeting is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote on such shareholder’s behalf. Such proxy need not be a holder of TriCo common stock.

Your vote is very important. To ensure your representation at the TriCo annual meeting, please complete and return the enclosed proxy card or submit your proxy by telephone or through the Internet. Whether or not you expect to attend the TriCo annual meeting, please vote promptly. Submitting a proxy now will not prevent you from being able to vote in person at the TriCo annual meeting.

 

By Order of the Board of Directors,

Craig Compton

Secretary

Chico, California

[], 2014

 

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IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING THE AVAILABILITY OF PROXY MATERIALS FOR THE

TRICO BANCSHARES ANNUAL MEETING TO BE HELD ON []

TriCo’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ending December 31, 2013 and the 2014 joint proxy statement/prospectus are available at www.tcbk.com/about/investor-relations/sec-filings/.

PLEASE VOTE YOUR SHARES OF TRICO COMMON STOCK PROMPTLY. YOU CAN FIND INSTRUCTIONS FOR VOTING ON THE ENCLOSED PROXY CARD. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROPOSALS OR ABOUT VOTING YOUR SHARES, PLEASE CALL TRICO INVESTOR RELATIONS AT (530) 898-0300.

 

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NORTH VALLEY BANCORP

300 PARK MARINA CIRCLE

REDDING, CALIFORNIA 96001

NOTICE OF THE SPECIAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

TO BE HELD ON [], 2014

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a special meeting of the shareholders of North Valley Bancorp, which we refer to as North Valley, will be held at [TIME, Pacific time] on [DAY], [DATE], in the Administrative Offices of North Valley at 300 Park Marina Circle, Redding, California, for the following purposes:

1. To approve the merger and to approve and adopt the Agreement and Plan of Merger and Reorganization, which we refer to as the merger agreement, dated as of January 21, 2014, by and between TriCo Bancshares and North Valley, as such agreement may be amended from time to time, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A, which we refer to as the North Valley Merger proposal;

2. To approve, on an advisory (non-binding) basis, specified compensation that may become payable to the named executive officers of North Valley in connection with the merger, which we refer to as the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation; and

3. To approve one or more adjournments of the North Valley special meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including adjournments to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the North Valley Merger proposal, which we refer to as the North Valley Adjournment proposal.

North Valley will transact no other business at the special meeting, except for business properly brought before the special meeting or any adjournment thereof.

The North Valley Merger proposal is described in more detail in this document, which you should read carefully in its entirety before you vote.

The North Valley board of directors has set [] as the record date for the North Valley special meeting. Only holders of record of North Valley common stock at the close of business on [] will be entitled to notice of and to vote at the North Valley special meeting and any adjournment thereof. Any shareholder entitled to attend and vote at the North Valley special meeting is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote on such shareholder’s behalf. Such proxy need not be a holder of North Valley common stock.

Your vote is very important. To ensure your representation at the North Valley special meeting, please complete and return the enclosed proxy card or submit your proxy by telephone or through the Internet. Please vote promptly whether or not you expect to attend the North Valley special meeting. Submitting a proxy now will not prevent you from being able to vote in person at the North Valley special meeting.

The North Valley board of directors has unanimously approved the merger and the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby and unanimously recommends that you vote “FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal, “FOR” the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation and “FOR” the North Valley Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate).

 

By Order of the Board of Directors,

Leo J. Graham

Corporate Secretary

Redding, California

[], 2014

 

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PLEASE VOTE YOUR SHARES OF NORTH VALLEY COMMON STOCK PROMPTLY. YOU CAN FIND INSTRUCTIONS FOR VOTING ON THE ENCLOSED PROXY CARD. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROPOSALS OR ABOUT VOTING YOUR SHARES, PLEASE CALL NORTH VALLEY INVESTOR RELATIONS AT (530) 226-2900.

 

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE SHAREHOLDERS’ MEETINGS

     1   

SUMMARY

     9   

SELECTED HISTORICAL CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA FOR TRICO

     17   

SELECTED HISTORICAL CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA FOR NORTH VALLEY

     18   

UNAUDITED COMPARATIVE PER COMMON SHARE DATA

     19   

COMPARATIVE PER SHARE MARKET PRICE AND DIVIDEND INFORMATION

     20   

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

     21   

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

       22   

RISK FACTORS

     23   

INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANIES

     28   

NORTH VALLEY SPECIAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

     29   

NORTH VALLEY PROPOSAL: MERGER

     33   

NORTH VALLEY PROPOSAL: ADVISORY VOTE CONCERNING SPECIFIED COMPENSATION

     33   

NORTH VALLEY PROPOSAL: ADJOURNMENT

     33   

SHAREHOLDER PROPOSALS FOR NORTH VALLEY ANNUAL MEETINGS

     34   

TRICO ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

     35   

TRICO PROPOSAL: MERGER

     40   

THE MERGER

     40   

THE MERGER AGREEMENT

     80   

LITIGATION RELATED TO THE MERGER

     99   

MATERIAL UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE MERGER

     99   

UNAUDITED PRO FORMA COMBINED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

     101   

COMPARISON OF SHAREHOLDERS’ RIGHTS

     107   

EXPERTS

     112   

LEGAL AND TAX OPINIONS

     112   

TRICO PROPOSAL: ELECTION OF DIRECTORS

     113   

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE, BOARD NOMINATION AND BOARD COMMITTEES

     116   

COMPENSATION OF DIRECTORS

     121   

EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

     124   

COMPENSATION OF NAMED EXECUTIVE OFFICERS

     125   

COMPENSATION DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS

     142   

REPORT OF THE COMPENSATION AND MANAGEMENT SUCCESSION COMMITTEE

     150   

REPORT OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE

     151   

TRICO PROPOSAL: REAPPROVE THE PERFORMANCE CRITERIA UNDER THE 2009 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN

     152   

TRICO PROPOSAL: ADVISORY VOTE CONCERNING EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION

     153   

 

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TRICO PROPOSAL: RATIFICATION OF SELECTION OF PRINCIPAL INDEPENDENT AUDITOR

  

 

 

 

154

 

  

OTHER INFORMATION

     155   

OTHER MATTERS

     156   

INCORPORATION OF CERTAIN DOCUMENTS BY REFERENCE

     156   

APPENDIX A

 

Agreement and Plan of Merger and Reorganization

     A-1   

APPENDIX B

 

Opinion of Sandler, O’Neill & Partners, L.P.

     B-1   

APPENDIX C

 

Opinion of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc.

     C-1   

APPENDIX D

 

Form of Shareholder Agreement – TriCo

     D-1   

APPENDIX E

 

Form of Shareholder Agreement – North Valley

     E-1   

 

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QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE SHAREHOLDERS’ MEETINGS

The following are answers to certain questions that you may have regarding the shareholders’ meetings. We urge you to read carefully the remainder of this document because the information in this section may not provide all the information that might be important to you in determining how to vote. Additional important information is also contained in the appendices to, and the documents incorporated by reference in, this document.

 

Q: WHAT IS THE MERGER?

 

A. TriCo and North Valley have entered into a merger agreement, pursuant to which North Valley will merge with and into TriCo, with TriCo continuing as the surviving corporation, in a transaction which is referred to as the merger. A copy of the merger agreement is attached as Appendix A to this document. Immediately upon the closing of the merger, North Valley Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of North Valley, will merge with and into Tri Counties Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of TriCo, with Tri Counties Bank being the surviving entity, which transaction is referred to as the bank merger. In order for us to complete the transaction we need not only the approval of our respective shareholders but the approval of both these mergers by the banking regulators of TriCo, North Valley, Tri Counties Bank and North Valley Bank.

 

Q: WHY AM I RECEIVING THIS JOINT PROXY STATEMENT/PROSPECTUS?

 

A. Each of TriCo and North Valley is sending these materials to its shareholders to help them decide how to vote their shares of TriCo or North Valley common stock, as the case may be, with respect to the merger and other matters to be considered at the shareholders’ meetings.

The merger cannot be completed unless TriCo shareholders approve the merger and approve and adopt the merger agreement and approve the issuance of TriCo common stock in the merger and North Valley shareholders approve the merger and approve and adopt the merger agreement. At each of the shareholders’ meetings, TriCo and North Valley shareholders will vote on the proposals necessary to complete the merger. Information about these shareholders’ meetings, the merger and the other business to be considered by shareholders at each of the shareholders’ meetings is contained in this document.

This document constitutes both a joint proxy statement of TriCo and North Valley and a prospectus of TriCo. It is a joint proxy statement because each of the boards of directors of TriCo and North Valley is soliciting proxies using this document from their respective shareholders. It is a prospectus because TriCo, in connection with the merger, is offering shares of its common stock in exchange for outstanding shares of North Valley common stock in the merger.

 

Q: WHAT WILL NORTH VALLEY SHAREHOLDERS RECEIVE IN THE MERGER?

 

A: In the merger, each share of North Valley common stock owned by a North Valley shareholder (including the associated preferred stock purchase rights issued pursuant to the Amended and Restated Shareholder Protection Rights Agreement dated as of March 26, 2009, as amended, between North Valley and Computershare, Inc., as Rights Agent) will be converted into the right to receive 0.9433 shares of TriCo common stock. A North Valley shareholder will receive any whole shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive and cash in lieu of any fractional shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive, without interest.

 

Q: WHAT HAPPENS TO NORTH VALLEY STOCK OPTIONS IN THE MERGER?

 

A: Immediately prior to the effective time of the merger, each outstanding option to purchase shares of North Valley common stock, whether or not then vested and whether or not then exercisable, will be cancelled and the holder of the option will be entitled to receive, subject to any required tax withholding, an amount in cash, without interest, from North Valley equal to the excess over the exercise price per share, if any, of 0.9433 multiplied by the weighted average of the closing price for shares of TriCo common stock as quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market for the 20 consecutive trading days ending on the trading day immediately prior to the closing date.

 

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Q: WHEN WILL THE MERGER BE COMPLETED?

 

A: TriCo and North Valley are working to complete the merger as soon as practicable. If the shareholders of North Valley approve the merger and approve and adopt the merger agreement and the shareholders of TriCo approve the merger and approve and adopt the merger agreement and approve the issuance of shares of TriCo stock in connection with the merger, the parties currently expect that the merger will be completed in the third quarter of 2014. Neither TriCo nor North Valley can predict, however, the actual date on which the merger will be completed because it is subject to factors beyond each company’s control, including whether or when the required regulatory approvals will be received. For further information, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Conditions to the Merger” beginning on page 93.

 

Q: WHO IS ENTITLED TO VOTE?

 

A: TriCo Annual Meeting. Holders of record of TriCo common stock at the close of business on [], which is the date that the TriCo board of directors has fixed as the record date for the TriCo annual meeting, are entitled to vote at the TriCo annual meeting.

North Valley Special Meeting. Holders of record of North Valley common stock at the close of business on [], which is the date that the North Valley board of directors has fixed as the record date for the North Valley special meeting, are entitled to vote at the North Valley special meeting.

 

Q: WHAT CONSTITUTES A QUORUM?

 

A: TriCo Annual Meeting. The presence at the TriCo annual meeting, in person or by proxy, of holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of TriCo common stock entitled to vote at the TriCo annual meeting will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Abstentions and broker non-votes, if any, will be included in determining the number of shares present at the meeting for the purpose of determining the presence of a quorum.

North Valley Special Meeting. The presence at the North Valley special meeting, in person or by proxy, of holders of a majority of the outstanding shares of North Valley common stock entitled to vote at the North Valley special meeting will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. Abstentions and broker non-votes, if any, will be included in determining the number of shares present at the meeting for the purpose of determining the presence of a quorum.

 

Q: WHAT AM I BEING ASKED TO VOTE ON AND WHY IS THIS APPROVAL NECESSARY?

 

A: TriCo shareholders are being asked to vote on the following proposals:

 

  1. to approve the merger and to approve and adopt the merger agreement, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A to this document, and to approve the issuance of TriCo common stock, no par value per share, pursuant to the merger agreement, which is referred to as the TriCo Merger proposal;

 

  2. to elect nine directors for terms expiring at the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders;

 

  3. to reapprove the existing performance criteria under the TriCo 2009 equity incentive plan;

 

  4. to approve an advisory resolution concerning the compensation of TriCo executives;

 

  5. to ratify the selection of Crowe Horwath LLP as TriCo’s principal independent auditor for 2014;

 

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  6. to approve one or more adjournments of the TriCo annual meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including adjournments to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the TriCo Merger proposal, which is referred to as the TriCo Adjournment proposal.

Shareholder approval of the TriCo Merger proposal is required to complete the merger. TriCo will transact no other business at the TriCo annual meeting, except for business properly brought before the TriCo annual meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof.

North Valley shareholders are being asked to vote on the following proposals:

 

  1. to approve the merger and to approve and adopt the merger agreement, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A to this document, which is referred to as the North Valley Merger proposal;

 

  2. to approve, on an advisory (non-binding) basis, specified compensation that may become payable to the named executive officers of North Valley in connection with the merger, which is referred to as the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation;

 

  3. to approve one or more adjournments of the North Valley special meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including adjournments to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the North Valley Merger proposal, which is referred to as the North Valley Adjournment proposal.

Shareholder approval of the North Valley Merger proposal is required for completion of the merger. North Valley will transact no other business at the North Valley special meeting, except for business properly brought before the North Valley special meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof.

 

Q: WHAT VOTE IS REQUIRED TO APPROVE EACH PROPOSAL AT THE TRICO ANNUAL MEETING?

 

A: TriCo Merger proposal: The affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of TriCo common stock entitled to vote is required to approve the TriCo Merger proposal.

Election of Directors: The nine nominees for director who receive the most votes will be elected.

2009 equity incentive plan proposal: Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of TriCo common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the TriCo annual meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to reapprove the existing performance criteria under the TriCo 2009 equity incentive plan.

Advisory vote on executive compensation proposal: Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of TriCo common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the TriCo annual meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to approve the advisory vote on executive compensation proposal.

Ratification of principal independent auditor proposal: Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of TriCo common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the TriCo annual meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to approve the principal independent auditor proposal.

TriCo Adjournment proposal: Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of TriCo common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the TriCo annual meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to approve the TriCo Adjournment proposal.

 

Q: WHAT DOES THE TRICO BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOMMEND?

 

A:

After careful consideration, the TriCo board of directors unanimously recommends that TriCo shareholders vote “FOR” the TriCo Merger proposal, “FOR” the election of TriCo’s director nominees, “FOR” the

 

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  reapproval of the existing performance criteria under the TriCo 2009 equity incentive plan, “FOR” the approval of TriCo’s executive compensation program; “FOR” the ratification of Crowe Horwath LLP as TriCo’s principal independent auditor for 2014, and “FOR” any adjournment of the TriCo annual meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the above-listed proposals.

 

Q: WHAT VOTE IS REQUIRED TO APPROVE EACH PROPOSAL AT THE NORTH VALLEY SPECIAL MEETING?

 

A: North Valley Merger proposal: The affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of North Valley common stock entitled to vote is required to approve the North Valley Merger proposal.

North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation: Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of North Valley common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the North Valley special meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to approve the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation.

North Valley Adjournment proposal: Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of North Valley common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the North Valley special meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to approve the North Valley Adjournment proposal.

 

Q: WHAT DOES THE NORTH VALLEY BOARD OF DIRECTORS RECOMMEND?

 

A: The North Valley board of directors unanimously recommends that North Valley shareholders vote “FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal, “FOR” the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation and “FOR” the North Valley Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate).

 

Q: WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF NORTH VALLEY’S SHAREHOLDERS DO NOT APPROVE THE NORTH VALLEY ADVISORY (NON-BINDING) PROPOSAL ON SPECIFIED COMPENSATION?

 

A: The vote on the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation is a vote separate and apart from the vote to approve the North Valley Merger proposal. You may vote for this proposal and against the North Valley Merger proposal, or vice versa. Because the vote on this proposal is advisory only, it will not be binding on North Valley or TriCo.

 

Q: WHAT DO I NEED TO DO NOW?

 

A: After carefully reading and considering the information contained in this joint proxy statement/prospectus, please vote your shares as soon as possible so that your shares will be represented at your respective company’s shareholders’ meeting. Please follow the instructions set forth on the proxy card or on the voting instruction form provided by the record holder if your shares are held in the name of your broker, bank or other nominee.

 

Q: HOW DO I VOTE?

 

A: If you are a shareholder of record of TriCo as of [], which is referred to as the TriCo record date, or a shareholder of North Valley as of [], which is referred to as the North Valley record date, you may submit your proxy before your respective company’s shareholders’ meeting in one of the following ways:

 

    use the toll-free number shown on your proxy card;

 

    visit the website shown on your proxy card to vote via the Internet; or

 

    complete, sign, date and return the enclosed proxy card in the enclosed postage-paid envelope.

You may also cast your vote in person at your respective company’s shareholders’ meeting.

 

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If your shares are held in “street name,” through a broker, bank or other nominee, that institution will send you separate instructions describing the procedure for voting your shares. “Street name” shareholders who wish to vote at the meeting will need to obtain a proxy form from their broker, bank or other nominee.

 

Q: HOW MANY VOTES DO I HAVE?

 

A: TriCo Shareholders. You are entitled to one vote for each share of TriCo common stock that you owned as of the record date. As of the close of business on [], there were approximately [] outstanding shares of TriCo common stock. As of that date, approximately []% of the outstanding shares of TriCo common stock were beneficially owned by the directors and executive officers of TriCo.

North Valley Shareholders. You are entitled to one vote for each share of North Valley common stock that you owned as of the record date. As of the close of business on [], there were approximately [] outstanding shares of North Valley common stock. As of that date, approximately []% of the outstanding shares of North Valley common stock were beneficially owned by the directors and executive officers of North Valley.

 

Q: WHEN AND WHERE ARE THE TRICO AND NORTH VALLEY SHAREHOLDERS’ MEETINGS?

 

A: The annual meeting of TriCo shareholders will be held at TriCo’s headquarters at 63 Constitution Drive, Chico, California at [], Pacific time, on [], 2014. Subject to space availability, all TriCo shareholders as of the TriCo record date, or their duly appointed proxies, may attend the TriCo annual meeting. Since seating is limited, admission to the meeting will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration and seating will begin at [], Pacific time.

The special meeting of North Valley shareholders will be held at [] at [], Pacific time, on [], 2014. Subject to space availability, all North Valley shareholders as of the North Valley record date, or their duly appointed proxies, may attend the North Valley special meeting. Since seating is limited, admission to the meeting will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration and seating will begin at [], Pacific time.

 

Q: IF MY SHARES ARE HELD IN “STREET NAME” BY A BROKER, BANK OR OTHER NOMINEE, WILL MY BROKER, BANK OR OTHER NOMINEE VOTE MY SHARES FOR ME?

 

A: If your shares are held in “street name” in a stock brokerage account or by a bank or other nominee, you must provide the record holder of your shares with instructions on how to vote your shares. Please follow the voting instructions provided by your broker, bank or other nominee. Please note that you may not vote shares held in street name by returning a proxy card directly to TriCo or North Valley or by voting in person at your respective company’s shareholders’ meeting unless you provide a “legal proxy,” which you must obtain from your broker, bank or other nominee.

Under the rules of the NASDAQ, brokers who hold shares in street name for a beneficial owner of those shares typically have the authority to vote in their discretion on “routine” proposals when they have not received instructions from beneficial owners. However, brokers are not allowed to exercise their voting discretion with respect to the approval of matters that the NASDAQ determines to be “non-routine” without specific instructions from the beneficial owner. It is expected that, other than the proposal to ratify TriCo’s independent auditor, all proposals to be voted on at the TriCo annual meeting and the North Valley special meeting are such “non-routine” matters. Broker non-votes occur when a broker or nominee is not instructed by the beneficial owner of shares to vote on a particular proposal for which the broker does not have discretionary voting power.

Assuming a quorum is present, if you are a North Valley shareholder and you do not instruct your broker, bank or other nominee on how to vote your shares:

 

    your broker, bank or other nominee may not vote your shares on the North Valley Merger proposal, which broker non-votes will have the same effect as a vote “AGAINST” such proposal;

 

    your broker, bank or other nominee may not vote your shares on the North Valley Adjournment proposal or the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation, which broker non-votes will have no effect on the vote count for such proposals.

 

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Assuming a quorum is present, if you are a TriCo shareholder and you do not instruct your broker, bank or other nominee on how to vote your shares, your broker, bank or other nominee may not vote your shares on the TriCo Merger proposal, which broker non-votes will have the same effect as a vote “AGAINST” such proposal.

 

Q: WHAT IF I DO NOT VOTE OR ABSTAIN?

 

A: For purposes of each of the TriCo annual meeting and the North Valley special meeting, assuming a quorum is present, an abstention occurs when a shareholder attends the applicable meeting in person and does not vote or returns a proxy with an “abstain” vote.

If you are a TriCo shareholder and you fail to vote or fail to instruct your broker, bank or other nominee how to vote on the TriCo Merger proposal, it will have the same effect as a vote cast “AGAINST” the TriCo Merger proposal. If you respond with an “abstain” vote on the TriCo Merger proposal, your proxy will have the same effect as a vote cast “AGAINST” the TriCo Merger proposal.

If you are a North Valley shareholder and you fail to vote or fail to instruct your broker, bank or other nominee how to vote on the North Valley Merger proposal, it will have the same effect as a vote cast “AGAINST” the North Valley Merger proposal. If you respond with an “abstain” vote on the North Valley Merger proposal, your proxy will have the same effect as a vote cast “AGAINST” the North Valley Merger proposal.

Abstentions will have no effect on the TriCo proposal for the election of directors.

Abstentions will have no effect on the proposals to reapprove the existing performance criteria under the TriCo 2009 equity incentive plan; the TriCo and North Valley advisory proposals concerning executive compensation, the ratification of TriCo’s principal independent auditor for 2014, and the TriCo Adjournment and the North Valley Adjournment, unless there are insufficient votes in favor of these proposals, such that the affirmative votes constitute less than a majority of the required quorum. In such cases, abstentions will have the same effect as a vote against these proposals.

 

Q: WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I RETURN MY PROXY OR VOTING INSTRUCTION CARD WITHOUT INDICATING HOW TO VOTE?

 

A: If you sign and return your proxy or voting instruction card without indicating how to vote on any particular proposal, the TriCo common stock represented by your proxy will be voted as recommended by the TriCo board of directors with respect to that proposal or the North Valley common stock represented by your proxy will be voted as recommended by the North Valley board of directors with respect to that proposal. Unless a TriCo shareholder or a North Valley shareholder, as applicable, checks the box on its proxy card to withhold discretionary authority, the proxy holders may use their discretion to vote on other matters relating to the TriCo annual meeting or North Valley special meeting, as applicable.

 

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Q: WHAT IF I OWN SHARES THROUGH TRICO’S OR NORTH VALLEY’S EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLAN AND TRUST (“ESOP”)?

 

A: Participants in the TriCo ESOP and North Valley ESOP will be entitled to direct the plan trustee as to the manner in which their shares are to be voted.

 

Q: MAY I CHANGE MY VOTE AFTER I HAVE DELIVERED MY PROXY OR VOTING INSTRUCTION CARD?

 

A: Yes. You may change your vote at any time before your proxy is voted at the TriCo or North Valley shareholders’ meeting. You may do this in one of the following ways:

 

    by sending a notice of revocation to the corporate secretary of TriCo or North Valley, as applicable;

 

    by logging onto the Internet website specified on your proxy card in the same manner you would to submit your proxy electronically or by calling the telephone number specified on your proxy card, in each case if you are eligible to do so and following the instructions on the proxy card;

 

    by sending a completed proxy card bearing a later date than your original proxy card.

If you choose any of these methods, you must take the described action such that the notice, Internet vote or proxy card, as applicable, is received no later than the beginning of the applicable shareholders’ meeting.

You may also change your vote by attending the TriCo or North Valley shareholders’ meeting, as applicable, and voting in person.

If your shares are held in an account at a broker, bank or other nominee, you should contact your broker, bank or other nominee to change your vote.

 

Q: DO I NEED IDENTIFICATION TO ATTEND THE TRICO OR NORTH VALLEY MEETING IN PERSON?

 

A: Yes. Please bring proper identification, together with proof that you are a record owner of TriCo or North Valley common stock, as the case may be. If your shares are held in street name, please bring acceptable proof of ownership, such as a letter from your broker or an account statement showing that you beneficially owned shares of TriCo or North Valley common stock, as applicable, on the record date.

 

Q: WHAT ARE THE MATERIAL UNITED STATES FEDERAL INCOME TAX CONSEQUENCES OF THE MERGER TO NORTH VALLEY SHAREHOLDERS?

The merger is intended to qualify, and the obligation of TriCo and North Valley to complete the merger is conditioned upon the receipt of opinions of their respective legal or tax advisors to the effect that the merger will qualify, as a reorganization within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, which we refer to as the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, in connection with the filing of the registration statement of which this document is a part, each of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and Crowe Horwath LLP has delivered an opinion to TriCo and North Valley, respectively, to the same effect.

Accordingly, based on the opinions delivered in connection herewith, North Valley shareholders generally will not recognize any gain or loss, except with respect to the cash received instead of a fractional share of TriCo common stock.

For a more detailed discussion of the material United States federal income tax consequences of the transaction, please see the section entitled “Material United States Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Merger” beginning on page 99.

 

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The consequences of the merger to any particular North Valley shareholder will depend on that shareholder’s particular facts and circumstances. Accordingly, you are urged to consult your tax advisor to determine your tax consequences from the merger.

 

Q: WHAT HAPPENS IF THE MERGER IS NOT COMPLETED?

 

A: If the merger is not completed, North Valley shareholders will not receive any consideration for their shares of North Valley common stock in connection with the merger. Instead, North Valley will remain an independent public company and its common stock will continue to be listed and traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. Under specified circumstances each of North Valley and TriCo may be required to pay the other party a fee with respect to the termination of the merger agreement, as described under the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Termination; Termination Fee” beginning on page 94.

 

Q: SHOULD NORTH VALLEY SHAREHOLDERS SEND IN THEIR STOCK CERTIFICATES NOW?

 

A: No. North Valley shareholders SHOULD NOT send in any stock certificates now. If the merger is approved, transmittal materials, with instructions for completion, will be provided to North Valley shareholders under separate cover and the stock certificates should be sent at that time.

 

Q: IS MY VOTE CONFIDENTIAL?

 

A: Proxy instructions, ballots and voting tabulations that identify individual shareholders are handled in a manner that protects your voting privacy. Your vote will not be disclosed either within TriCo or North Valley or to third parties except:

 

    as necessary to meet applicable legal requirements,

 

    to allow for the counting and certification of votes, or

 

    to help our boards solicit proxies.

 

Q: WHOM SHOULD I CONTACT IF I HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROXY MATERIALS OR VOTING?

 

A: If you are a TriCo shareholder and have any questions about the proxy materials or if you need assistance submitting your proxy or voting your shares or need additional copies of this document or the enclosed proxy card, you should contact TriCo Investor Relations at (530) 898-0300.

If you are a North Valley shareholder and have any questions about the proxy materials or if you need assistance submitting your proxy or voting your shares or need additional copies of this document or the enclosed proxy card, you should contact North Valley Investor Relations at (530) 226-2900.

 

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SUMMARY

This summary highlights selected information included in this document and does not contain all of the information that may be important to you. You should read this entire document and its appendices and the other documents to which we refer before you decide how to vote with respect to each of the proposals. In addition, we incorporate by reference important business and financial information about North Valley and TriCo into this document. For a description of this information, please see the section entitled “Incorporation of Certain Documents by Reference” beginning on page 156. You may obtain the information incorporated by reference into this document without charge by following the instructions in the section entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” in the forepart of this document. Each item in this summary includes a page reference directing you to a more complete description of that item.

Unless the context otherwise requires, throughout this document, “TriCo” refers to TriCo Bancshares, “North Valley” refers to North Valley Bancorp and “we,” “us” and “our” refers collectively to TriCo and North Valley. Also, we refer to the proposed merger of North Valley with and into TriCo Bancshares as the “merger,” the proposed merger of North Valley Bank with and into Tri Counties Bank as the “bank merger” and the Agreement and Plan of Merger and Reorganization, dated as of January 21, 2014, by and between TriCo and North Valley as the “merger agreement.”

The Merger and the Merger Agreement (pages 40 and 80)

The terms and conditions of the merger are contained in the merger agreement, which is attached to this document as Appendix A. We encourage you to read the merger agreement carefully, as it is the legal document that governs the merger.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, North Valley will merge with and into TriCo with TriCo as the surviving corporation. Immediately upon the closing of the merger, North Valley Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of North Valley, will merge with and into Tri Counties Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of TriCo, with Tri Counties Bank being the surviving bank.

Merger Consideration (page 40)

In the merger, each share of North Valley common stock, no par value per share, owned by a North Valley shareholder (including the associated preferred stock purchase rights issued pursuant to the Amended and Restated Shareholder Protection Rights Agreement dated as of March 26, 2009, as amended, between North Valley and Computershare, Inc., as Rights Agent) will be converted into the right to receive 0.9433 shares of TriCo common stock, no par value per share. A North Valley shareholder will receive any whole shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive and cash in lieu of any fractional shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive.

Based on the closing share price of TriCo common stock of $27.93 on January 21, 2014, the last trading day before the announcement of the merger, the value of the merger consideration was $26.35 per share. The value of the TriCo common stock on [], the most recent day for which information was available prior to the printing and mailing of this document, was [] based upon the exchange ratio. The share price of TriCo common stock will fluctuate and accordingly, the value of the merger consideration you receive may be different than either of these amounts.

Immediately prior to the effective time of the merger, each outstanding option to purchase shares of North Valley common stock, whether or not then vested and whether or not then exercisable, will be cancelled and the holder of the option will be entitled receive, subject to any required tax withholding, an amount in cash, without interest, from North Valley equal to the excess over the exercise price per share, if any, of 0.9433 multiplied by the weighted average of the closing price for shares of TriCo common stock as quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market for the 20 consecutive trading days ending on the trading day immediately prior to the closing date.

 

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Recommendation of the North Valley Board of Directors (page 29)

After careful consideration, the North Valley board of directors unanimously recommends that North Valley shareholders vote FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal, FOR” the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation and FOR” the North Valley Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate).

Each of the directors of North Valley has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed to vote FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal and FOR” the North Valley Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate). For more information regarding the shareholder agreements, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96.

For a more complete description of North Valley’s reasons for the merger and the recommendation of the North Valley board of directors, please see the section entitled “Reasons for the Merger and Recommendation of the North Valley Board of Directors” beginning on page 45.

Recommendation of the TriCo Board of Directors (page 35)

After careful consideration, the TriCo board of directors unanimously recommends that TriCo shareholders vote “FOR” the TriCo Merger proposal, “FOR” the election of TriCo’s director nominees, “FOR” the reapproval of the existing performance criteria under the TriCo 2009 equity incentive plan, “FOR” the approval of TriCo’s executive compensation program, “FOR” the ratification of Crowe Horwath LLP as TriCo’s principal independent auditor for 2014, and “FOR” any adjournment of the TriCo annual meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the above-listed proposals.

Each of the directors of TriCo has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed to vote FOR” the TriCo Merger proposal and “FOR” the TriCo Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate). For more information regarding the shareholder agreements, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96.

For a more complete description of TriCo’s reasons for the merger and the recommendations of the TriCo board of directors, please see the section entitled “Recommendation of the TriCo Board of Directors and Reasons for the Merger” beginning on page 59.

Opinion of Financial Advisors (pages 48 and 60)

North Valley Financial Advisor

On January 21, 2014, Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., North Valley’s financial advisor in connection with the merger, rendered an oral opinion to North Valley’s board of directors, which was subsequently confirmed in a written opinion dated the same date that, as of such date and subject to and based on the qualifications and assumptions set forth in its written opinion, the merger consideration (defined as the 0.9433 exchange ratio) in the proposed merger was fair, from a financial point of view, to the common shareholders of North Valley.

The full text of Sandler O’Neill’s opinion, dated January 21, 2014, is attached as Appendix B to this document. You should read the opinion in its entirety for a description of the procedures followed, assumptions made, matters considered, and qualifications and limitations on the review undertaken by Sandler O’Neill in rendering its opinion.

Sandler O’Neill’s opinion is addressed to North Valley’s board of directors and the opinion is not a recommendation as to how any shareholder of North Valley should vote with respect to the merger or any other matter or as to any action that a shareholder should take with respect to the merger.

 

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The opinion addresses only the fairness, from a financial point of view, of the merger consideration in the proposed merger to the common shareholders of North Valley, and does not address the underlying business decision of North Valley to engage in the merger, or the relative merits of the merger as compared to any strategic alternatives that may be available to North Valley. Sandler O’Neill will receive a fee for its services, portions of which have been paid, and a significant portion of which will be payable upon consummation of the merger.

For further information, please see the section entitled “The Merger—Opinion of North Valley’s Financial Advisor” beginning on page 48.

TriCo Financial Advisor

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., which we refer to as KBW, TriCo’s financial advisor in connection with the merger, provided a fairness opinion to the TriCo board of directors in connection with the merger. At the January 21, 2014 meeting at which TriCo’s board of directors considered and approved the merger agreement, KBW delivered to the board its oral opinion, which was subsequently confirmed in writing, that, as of such date, the exchange ratio was fair to TriCo from a financial point of view.

The full text of KBW’s opinion, dated January 21, 2014, is attached as Appendix C to this document. You should read the opinion in its entirety for a description of the procedures followed, assumptions made, matters considered, and qualifications and limitations on the review undertaken by KBW in rendering its opinion.

KBW’s opinion is addressed to TriCo’s board of directors and the opinion is not a recommendation as to how any shareholder of TriCo should vote with respect to the merger or any other matter as to any action that a shareholder should take with respect to the merger.

For further information, please see the section entitled “The Merger—Opinion of TriCo’s Financial Advisor” beginning on page 60.

North Valley Special Meeting of Shareholders (page 29)

The North Valley special meeting will be held at [], Pacific time, on [], 2014, at [], located at []. At the North Valley special meeting, North Valley shareholders will be asked to approve the North Valley Merger proposal, the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation and the North Valley Adjournment proposal.

North Valley’s board of directors has fixed the close of business on [] as the record date for determining the holders of North Valley common stock entitled to receive notice of and to vote at the North Valley special meeting. Only holders of record of North Valley common stock at the close of business on the North Valley record date will be entitled to notice of and to vote at the North Valley special meeting and any adjournment or postponement thereof. As of the North Valley record date, there were [] shares of North Valley common stock outstanding and entitled to vote at the North Valley special meeting held by [] holders of record. Each share of North Valley common stock entitles the holder to one vote on each proposal to be considered at the North Valley special meeting. Each of the directors of North Valley has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed, solely in their capacity as shareholders of North Valley, to vote all of their shares of North Valley common stock in favor of the North Valley Merger proposal and the North Valley Adjournment proposal to be presented at the special meeting. As of the record date, directors and executive officers of North Valley owned and were entitled to vote [] shares of North Valley common stock, representing approximately []% of the shares of North Valley common stock outstanding on that date. North Valley currently expects that North Valley’s executive officers will vote their shares in favor of the proposals to be presented at the special meeting, although none of them has entered into any agreements obligating them to do so (other than one executive officer who is also a director). As of the record date, TriCo beneficially held [] shares of North Valley’s common stock.

Approval of the North Valley Merger proposal requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of North Valley common stock entitled to vote on the proposal. Approval of the North Valley

 

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Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation and the North Valley Adjournment proposal each require the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of North Valley common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the North Valley special meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal.

TriCo Annual Meeting of Shareholders (page 35)

The TriCo annual meeting will be held at [], Pacific time, on [], 2014, at TriCo’s headquarters located at 63 Constitution Drive, Chico, California. At the TriCo annual meeting, TriCo shareholders will be asked to approve the TriCo Merger proposal, the election of TriCo’s directors, the 2009 equity incentive plan proposal, the advisory vote of TriCo’s executive compensation, the ratification of the selection of TriCo’s independent auditor and the TriCo Adjournment proposal.

TriCo’s board of directors has fixed the close of business on [] as the record date for determining the holders of TriCo common stock entitled to receive notice of and to vote at the TriCo annual meeting. As of the TriCo record date, there were [] shares of TriCo common stock outstanding and entitled to vote at the TriCo annual meeting held by [] holders of record. Each share of TriCo common stock entitles the holder to one vote on each proposal to be considered at the TriCo annual meeting. As of the record date, directors and executive officers of TriCo owned and were entitled to vote [] shares of TriCo common stock, representing approximately []% of the shares of TriCo common stock outstanding on that date. Each of the directors of TriCo has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed, solely in their capacity as shareholders of TriCo, to vote all of their shares of TriCo common stock in favor of the TriCo Merger proposal and the TriCo Adjournment proposal to be presented at the annual meeting. TriCo currently expects that TriCo’s executive officers will vote their shares in favor of the proposals to be presented at the annual meeting, although none of them has entered into any agreements obligating them to do so (other than those executive officers who are also directors).

Approval of the TriCo Merger proposal requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of TriCo common stock entitled to vote on the proposal. Approval of the other TriCo proposals (other than the election of directors) requires the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of TriCo common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the TriCo annual meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal. In the election of directors, the nine nominees who receive the most votes will be elected.

North Valley’s Directors and Executive Officers Have Certain Interests in the Merger (page 72)

Certain of North Valley’s executive officers and directors have financial interests in the merger that are different from, or in addition to, the interests of North Valley’s shareholders. The merger would constitute a “change of control” for purposes of the North Valley Salary Continuation Plan and payments under the Salary Continuation Plan would be due North Valley executive officers at the effective time of the merger. Further, the payment of benefits to executive officers under the North Valley Executed Deferred Compensation Plan would be accelerated upon a “change in control,” if that had been elected by the executive officer, and otherwise would be paid by TriCo following the effective time of the merger in a lump sum or in installments, in each case according to the election made by each executive officer; and the payment of benefits to non-employee directors under the North Valley Director Deferred Fee Plan would be accelerated upon a “change in control” if that had been elected by the director, and otherwise would be paid by TriCo following the effective time of the merger in a lump sum or in installments, in each case according to the election made by each director. In addition, each of North Valley’s executive officers and directors hold equity awards, the treatment of which is described below under “Treatment of North Valley Stock Options”. Under the terms of the merger agreement, three individuals will be designated by the board of directors of TriCo to join the board of directors of TriCo. The designated individuals must be approved by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the board of directors of TriCo. TriCo and North Valley currently expect to select such individuals shortly prior to the consummation of the transaction. The members of the North Valley board of directors were aware of and considered these interests, among other matters, when they approved the merger agreement and unanimously recommended that North Valley shareholders approve the North Valley Merger proposal. These interests are described in more detail under the section entitled “The Merger—Interests of North Valley Directors and Executive Officers in the Merger” beginning on page 72.

Treatment of North Valley Stock Options (page 41)

Immediately prior to the effective time of the merger, each outstanding option to purchase shares of North Valley common stock, whether or not then vested and whether or not then exercisable, will be cancelled and the holder of the option will be entitled receive, subject to any required tax withholding, an amount in cash, without interest, from North Valley equal to the excess over the exercise price per share, if any, of 0.9433 multiplied by the weighted average of the closing price for shares of TriCo common stock as quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market for the 20 consecutive trading days ending on the trading day immediately prior to the closing date.

 

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Regulatory Approvals Required for the Merger (page 77)

Completion of the merger and the bank merger are subject to various regulatory approvals, including approvals from the California Department of Business Oversight, which we refer to as the Department of Business Oversight, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which we refer to as the FDIC, and the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, which we refer to as Federal Reserve Board. Notifications and/or applications requesting approval for the merger or for the bank merger may also be submitted to other federal and state regulatory authorities and self-regulatory organizations. We have filed, or are in the process of filing all notices and applications to obtain the necessary regulatory approvals. Although we currently believe we should be able to obtain all required regulatory approvals, we cannot be certain when or if we will obtain them or, if obtained, whether they will contain terms, conditions or restrictions not currently contemplated that will be detrimental to or have a material adverse effect on the combined company after the completion of the merger. The regulatory approvals to which completion of the merger and bank merger are subject are described in more detail under the section entitled “The Merger—Regulatory Approvals Required for the Merger” beginning on page 77.

Conditions to the Merger (page 93)

The obligations of TriCo and North Valley to complete the merger are each subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the following conditions:

 

    approval of the TriCo Merger proposal by the TriCo shareholders and approval of the North Valley Merger proposal by the North Valley shareholders;

 

    the receipt of all regulatory approvals required from the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC and the Department of Business Oversight, subject to the limitations set forth in the merger agreement;

 

    (i) no order, injunction or decree issued by any court or agency of competent jurisdiction or other legal restraint or prohibition (an “injunction”) preventing the consummation of the merger or any of the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement shall be in effect; (ii) no statute, rule, regulation, order, injunction or decree shall have been enacted, entered, promulgated or enforced by any governmental entity which prohibits, restricts or makes illegal consummation of the merger; and (iii) no proceeding initiated by any governmental entity seeking an injunction to prevent the consummation of the merger or any of the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement shall be pending;

 

    as of the last business day of the month reflected in the closing financial statements and prior to implementation of the plan of integration, the adjusted shareholders’ equity of North Valley shall not be less than $95.074 million;

 

    the effectiveness of the registration statement on Form S-4, of which this document is a part, and the absence of a stop order or proceeding initiated or threatened by the SEC for that purpose;

 

    approval for the listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market of the shares of TriCo common stock to be issued in the merger;

 

    the accuracy of the representations and warranties of each party as of the closing date of the merger, other than, in most cases, those failures to be true and correct that would not reasonably be expected to result in a material adverse effect on the other party;

 

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    performance in all material respects by each party of the obligations required to be performed by it at or prior to the closing date of the merger;

 

    written certifications as to certain factual matters shall have been delivered to each party; and

 

    receipt by each party of an opinion of its legal or tax advisors as to certain tax matters.

No Solicitation (page 88)

Under the terms of the merger agreement, North Valley has agreed not to solicit, initiate or knowingly encourage inquiries or proposals with respect to, or engage or participate in any discussions or negotiations concerning, or provide any confidential or nonpublic information or data to, any person relating to, any acquisition proposal. Notwithstanding these restrictions, the merger agreement provides that, under specified circumstances, in response to an unsolicited bona fide acquisition proposal which, in the good faith judgment of the North Valley board of directors, is or is reasonably likely to result in a proposal which is superior to the merger with TriCo, and the North Valley board of directors determines in good faith (and after consultation with North Valley’s outside counsel) that failure to take such actions would reasonably be expected to be a violation of its fiduciary duties under applicable law, North Valley may furnish information regarding North Valley and participate in discussions and negotiations with such third party.

Termination; Termination Fee (page 94)

TriCo and North Valley may mutually agree at any time to terminate the merger agreement without completing the merger, even if the North Valley shareholders have approved the merger and approved and adopted the merger agreement and the TriCo shareholders have approved the merger and approved and adopted the merger agreement and approved the issuance of TriCo common stock in connection with the merger.

The merger agreement may also be terminated and the merger abandoned at any time prior to the effective time of the merger, as follows:

 

    by either TriCo or North Valley, if a required governmental approval is denied by final, non-appealable action, or if a governmental entity has issued a final, non-appealable order enjoining or otherwise prohibiting the closing of the merger, unless such denial or order is due to the failure of the party seeking to terminate the merger agreement to perform or observe the covenants and agreements of such party;

 

    by TriCo if any requisite regulatory approval includes, or will not be issued without, the imposition of a burdensome condition;

 

    by either TriCo or North Valley, if the merger has not closed on or before January 21, 2015, except that a party that is then in material breach of any of its covenants or obligations under the merger agreement is not entitled to terminate the merger agreement for this reason;

 

    by either TriCo or North Valley, if there is a breach by the other party that would, individually or in the aggregate with other breaches by such party, result in the failure of a closing condition, unless the breach is cured before the earlier of January 21, 2015 and 30 days following written notice of the breach (provided that the terminating party is not then in material breach of the merger agreement);

 

    by either TriCo or North Valley, if (1) the North Valley shareholders have not approved the merger at the North Valley special meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof, or (2) the TriCo shareholders have not approved the merger and approved the issuance of TriCo common stock to the shareholders of North Valley in connection with the merger at the TriCo annual meeting or any adjournment or postponement thereof; or

 

    by TriCo, if the North Valley board of directors (1) submits the merger agreement to its shareholders without a recommendation for approval, or otherwise withdraws or materially and adversely modifies its recommendation for approval (or discloses an intention to do so), or recommends to its shareholders an alternative acquisition proposal other than the merger agreement, or (2) materially breaches its obligation to call a shareholder meeting, to prepare and mail to its shareholders this document, to include in this document its recommendation that its shareholders vote in favor of the approval of the merger, or to refrain from soliciting alternative acquisition proposals.

 

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North Valley may be required to pay TriCo a termination fee of $7.6 million in certain circumstances. TriCo may be required to pay North Valley a termination fee of $3.8 million in certain other circumstances. For more information, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Termination; Termination Fee” beginning on page 94.

Material United States Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Merger (page 15)

The merger is intended to qualify as a reorganization within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Internal Revenue Code. Assuming the merger qualifies as such a reorganization, a shareholder of North Valley generally will not recognize any gain or loss upon receipt of TriCo common stock in exchange for North Valley common stock in the merger, except with respect to cash received in lieu of a fractional share of TriCo common stock. It is a condition to the completion of the merger that TriCo and North Valley receive written opinions from their legal or tax advisors to the effect that the merger will qualify as a reorganization within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Tax matters are very complicated and the tax consequences of the merger to each North Valley shareholder may depend on such shareholder’s particular facts and circumstances. North Valley shareholders are urged to consult their tax advisors to understand fully the tax consequences to them of the merger. For more information, please see the section entitled “Material United States Federal Income Tax Consequences of the Merger” beginning on page 15.

Litigation Related to the Merger (page 99)

On January 24, 2014, a purported shareholder of North Valley filed a lawsuit in connection with the merger. Captioned Solak v. North Valley Bancorp, et al., Case No. 179099, the suit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, Shasta County, against North Valley, its directors, and TriCo. For more information, please see the section entitled “Litigation Related to the Merger” beginning on page 99.

Comparison of Shareholders’ Rights (page 107)

The rights of North Valley shareholders who continue as TriCo shareholders after the merger will be governed by the articles of incorporation and bylaws of TriCo rather than by the articles of incorporation and bylaws of North Valley. For more information, please see the section entitled “Comparison of Shareholders’ Rights” beginning on page 107.

Information About the Companies (page 28)

TriCo Bancshares

63 Constitution Drive

Chico, California 95973

(530) 898-0300

TriCo Bancshares is a bank holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended, which we refer to as the BHC Act. As of December 31, 2013, TriCo had consolidated total assets of approximately $2.7 billion, total gross loans of approximately $1.7 billion, deposits of approximately $2.4 billion and shareholders’ equity of approximately $250.9 million. TriCo had 733 full-time equivalent employees of December 31, 2013.

 

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North Valley Bancorp

300 Park Marina Circle

Redding, California 96001

(530) 226-2900

North Valley Bancorp is a bank holding company registered under the BHC Act. As of December 31, 2013, North Valley had consolidated total assets of approximately $917.8 million, total gross loans of approximately $509.2 million, deposits of approximately $787.8 million and shareholders’ equity of approximately $93.4 million. North Valley had 297 full-time equivalent employees as of December 31, 2013.

Risk Factors (page 23)

Before voting at the TriCo or North Valley shareholders’ meeting, you should carefully consider all of the information contained in or incorporated by reference into this joint proxy statement/prospectus, including the risk factors set forth in the section entitled “Risk Factors” beginning on page 23 or described in TriCo’s and North Valley’s Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the year ended on December 31, 2013 and other reports filed with the SEC, which are incorporated by reference into this joint proxy statement/prospectus. Please see “Where You Can Find More Information” beginning on page v.

 

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SELECTED HISTORICAL CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA FOR TRICO

The following table summarizes consolidated financial results achieved by TriCo for the periods and at the dates indicated and should be read in conjunction with TriCo’s consolidated financial statements and the notes to the consolidated financial statements contained in reports that TriCo has previously filed with the SEC. Historical financial information for TriCo can be found in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013. Please see the section entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” beginning on page v for instructions on how to obtain the information that has been incorporated by reference. You should not assume the results of operations for past periods indicate results for any future period.

 

Year ended December 31,  
(in thousands, except per share amounts)  
     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009  

Interest income

   $ 106,560      $ 108,716      $ 102,982      $ 104,572      $ 112,333   

Interest expense

     4,696        7,344        10,238        14,133        20,615   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net interest income

     101,864        101,372        92,744        90,439        91,718   

Provision for loan losses

     (715     9,423        23,060        37,458        31,450   

Noninterest income

     36,829        37,980        42,813        32,695        30,329   

Noninterest expense

     93,604        97,998        82,715        77,205        75,450   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income before income taxes

     45,804        31,931        29,782        8,471        15,147   

Provision for income taxes

     18,405        12,937        11,192        2,466        5,185   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income

   $ 27,399      $ 18,994      $ 18,590      $ 6,005      $ 9,962   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Earnings per share:

          

Basic

   $ 1.71      $ 1.19      $ 1.17      $ 0.38      $ 0.63   

Diluted

   $ 1.69      $ 1.18      $ 1.16      $ 0.37      $ 0.62   

Per share:

          

Dividends paid

   $ 0.42      $ 0.36      $ 0.36      $ 0.40      $ 0.52   

Book value

   $ 15.61      $ 14.33      $ 13.55      $ 12.64      $ 12.71   

Tangible book value

   $ 14.59      $ 13.30      $ 12.49      $ 11.62      $ 11.71   

Average common shares outstanding

     16,045        15,988        15,935        15,860        15,783   

Average diluted common shares outstanding

     16,197        16,052        16,000        16,010        16,011   

Shares outstanding

     16,077        16,001        15,979        15,860        15,787   

Loans, net of allowance

   $ 1,633,762      $ 1,522,175      $ 1,505,118      $ 1,377,000      $ 1,460,097   

Total assets

     2,744,066        2,609,269        2,555,597        2,189,789        2,170,520   

Total deposits

     2,410,483        2,289,702        2,190,536        1,852,173        1,828,512   

Debt financing and notes payable

     6,335        9,197        72,541        62,020        66,753   

Junior subordinated debt

     41,238        41,238        41,238        41,238        41,238   

Shareholders’ equity

     250,946        229,359        216,441        200,397        200,649   

Financial Ratios:

          

For the year:

          

Return on average assets

     1.04     0.75     0.82     0.27     0.48

Return on average equity

     11.34     8.44     8.93     2.94     4.89

Net interest margin1

     4.18     4.32     4.43     4.45     4.77

Net loan losses to average loans

     0.23     0.82     1.37     2.07     1.53

Efficiency ratio1

     67.32     70.19     60.88     62.49     61.53

Average equity to average assets

     9.21     8.91     9.15     9.25     9.73

Equity to assets

     9.15     8.79     8.47     9.15     9.24

Total capital to risk-adjusted assets

     14.77     14.53     13.94     14.20     13.36

 

1  Fully taxable equivalent

 

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SELECTED HISTORICAL CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL DATA FOR NORTH VALLEY

The following table summarizes consolidated financial results achieved by North Valley for the periods and at the dates indicated and should be read in conjunction with North Valley’s consolidated financial statements and the notes to the consolidated financial statements contained in reports that North Valley has previously filed with the SEC. Historical financial information for North Valley can be found in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013. Please see the section entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” beginning on page v for instructions on how to obtain the information that has been incorporated by reference. You should not assume the results of operations for past periods indicate results for any future period.

 

     Year ended December 31,
(in thousands, except per share amounts)
 
     2013     2012     2011     2010     2009  

Income Statement

          

Total interest income

   $ 32,213      $ 33,731      $ 37,145      $ 38,922      $ 43,955   

Total interest expense

     1,618        3,525        5,786        8,985        12,721   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net interest income

     30,595        30,206        31,359        29,937        31,234   

Provision for loan losses

     —          2,100        2,650        7,970        26,500   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net interest income after provision for loan losses

     30,595        28,106        28,709        21,967        4,734   

Total noninterest income

     14,137        16,419        14,365        12,944        14,010   

Total noninterest expense

     39,513        39,979        39,715        42,144        53,990   
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) before (benefit) provision for income taxes

     5,219        4,546        3,359        (7,233     (35,246

(Benefit) provision for income taxes

     1,594        (1,744     312        (985     (9,394
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

Net income (loss)

     3,625        6,290        3,047        (6,248     (25,852
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Preferred stock discount

     —          —          —          (18,667     —     
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net income (loss) available to common stockholders

   $ 3,625      $ 6,290      $ 3,047      $ (24,915   $ (25,852
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Income (loss) per share (1)

          

Basic

   $ 0.53      $ 0.92      $ 0.45      $ (6.42   $ (17.24

Diluted

   $ 0.53      $ 0.92      $ 0.45      $ (6.42   $ (17.24

Statement of Condition

          

Total assets

   $ 917,764      $ 902,343      $ 904,966      $ 884,941      $ 884,362   

Investment securities and federal funds sold

   $ 319,847      $ 301,686      $ 352,421      $ 274,655      $ 194,594   

Net loans

   $ 499,943      $ 481,753      $ 443,559      $ 498,473      $ 583,878   

Deposits

   $ 787,849      $ 768,580      $ 766,239      $ 753,790      $ 787,809   

Stockholder’s equity

   $ 93,429      $ 96,161      $ 89,465      $ 83,978      $ 52,302   

Common Stock Data

          

Shares outstanding

     6,836,463        6,835,192        6,833,752        6,832,492        1,499,163   

Book value per share (2)

   $ 13.67      $ 14.07      $ 13.09      $ 12.29      $ 34.89   

Cash dividends per share

   $ —        $ —        $ —        $ —        $ —     

Dividend payout ratio

     —          —          —          —          —     

Performance Ratios

          

Return (loss) on average assets

     0.40     0.69     0.34     (0.69 %)      (2.85 %) 

Return (loss) on average equity

     3.78     6.70     3.54     (8.03 %)      (34.92 %) 

Capital Ratios

          

Risk based capital:

          

Total (8% minimum ratio)

     19.04     18.28     19.53     17.63     12.19

Tier I (4% minimum ratio)

     17.79     17.01     17.99     15.94     9.09

Leverage ratio

     12.16     11.77     11.82     11.48     7.16

 

(1) Earnings per share amounts have been adjusted to give effect to a one for five reverse stock split on December 28, 2010.
(2) Represents stockholders’ equity divided by the number of shares of common stock outstanding at the end of the period indicated.

 

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UNAUDITED COMPARATIVE PER COMMON SHARE DATA

The following table shows per common share data regarding basic and diluted earnings, cash dividends, and book value for (a) TriCo and North Valley on a historical basis, (b) TriCo on a pro forma combined basis, and (c) North Valley on a pro forma equivalent basis. The pro forma basic and diluted earnings per share information was computed as if the merger had been completed on January 1, 2013. The pro forma book value per share information was computed as if the merger had been completed on the dates presented.

The following pro forma information has been derived from and should be read in conjunction with TriCo’s and North Valley’s audited consolidated financial statements as of and for the year ended December 31, 2013, incorporated herein by reference. This information is presented for illustrative purposes only. You should not rely on the pro forma combined or pro forma equivalent amounts as they are not necessarily indicative of the operating results or financial position that would have occurred if the merger had been completed as of the dates indicated, nor are they necessarily indicative of the future operating results or financial position of the combined company. The pro forma information, although helpful in illustrating the financial characteristics of the combined company under one set of assumptions, does not reflect the benefits of expected cost savings, opportunities to earn additional revenue, the impact of restructuring and merger-related costs (except merger costs are reflected in the Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Condensed Balance Sheet), or other factors that may result as a consequence of the merger and, accordingly, does not attempt to predict or suggest future results. The information below should be read in conjunction with the section entitled “Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Condensed Financial Statements” beginning on page 101.

 

     TriCo      North Valley      TriCo
Pro Forma
Combined
    North Valley
Pro Forma
Equivalent
Per Share(1)
 

Per Common Share Data:

          

Basic Earnings

          

Year ended December 31, 2013

   $ 1.71       $ 0.53       $ 1.39      $ 1.31   

Diluted Earnings

          

Year ended December 31, 2013

   $ 1.69       $ 0.53       $ 1.38      $ 1.30   

Cash Dividends Paid(2)

          

Year ended December 31, 2013

   $ 0.42       $ —         $ 0.42      $ 0.40   

Book Value

          

December 31, 2013

   $ 15.64       $ 13.67       $ 19.29 (3)    $ 18.20   

 

(1) Computed by multiplying the “TriCo Pro Forma Combined” amounts by the exchange ratio of 0.9433.
(2) “TriCo Pro Forma Combined” cash dividends paid are based only upon TriCo’s historical amounts.
(3) Based on pro forma shares outstanding of 22,155,818 as of December 31, 2013 (using the average shares outstanding and not as of the end of the period). Such pro forma share amount is based on (a) 16,045,141 average common shares outstanding of TriCo common stock at December 31, 2013, plus (b) the product of (x) the exchange ratio of 0.9433 and (y) 6,477,978 average common shares of North Valley common stock outstanding at December 31, 2013.

 

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COMPARATIVE PER SHARE MARKET PRICE AND DIVIDEND INFORMATION

The table below sets forth, for the calendar quarters indicated, the high and low sales prices per share, and the dividend paid per share, of TriCo common stock, which trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “TCBK,” and North Valley common stock, which trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “NOVB.”

 

     TriCo
Common Stock
     North Valley Common Stock  
     High      Low      Dividend      High      Low      Dividend  

2012

                 

First Quarter

   $ 17.67         14.22         0.09       $ 12.44         9.39         —     

Second Quarter

   $ 17.71         14.84         0.09       $ 15.00         12.24         —     

Third Quarter

   $ 16.81         14.76         0.11       $ 14.41         13.00         —     

Fourth Quarter

   $ 17.14         14.73         0.11       $ 14.41         13.65         —     

2013

                 

First Quarter

   $ 17.90         16.31         0.11       $ 19.00         14.00         —     

Second Quarter

   $ 21.75         15.77         0.11       $ 18.00         16.22         —     

Third Quarter

   $ 23.07         20.50         0.11       $ 20.00         16.49         —     

Fourth Quarter

   $ 28.76         22.50         0.11       $ 20.24         18.56         —     

2014

                 

First Quarter

   $ 28.37         23.87         0.11       $ 24.64         18.83         —     

Second Quarter (through [], 2014)

                 

The following table sets forth the closing sale prices per share of TriCo common stock and North Valley common stock on January 21, 2014, the last trading day before the public announcement of the signing of the merger agreement, and on [], 2014, the latest practicable date before the date of this document. The following table also includes the equivalent market value per share of North Valley common stock on January 21, 2014 and [], 2014, determined by multiplying the closing share price of TriCo common stock on such dates by the exchange ratio for the merger of 0.9433.

 

     TriCo
Common Stock
     North Valley
Common Stock
     Equivalent Market
Value per Share of
North Valley
Common Stock
 

January 21, 2014

   $ 27.93       $ 19.15       $ 26.35   

[], 2014

   $         $         $     

 

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CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

This document, including information included or incorporated by reference in this document contains forward looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 giving TriCo’s and North Valley’s expectations or predictions of future financial or business performance or conditions. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “target,” “estimate,” “continue,” “positions,” “prospects,” “projections” or “potential,” by future conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could” or “may,” or by variations of such words or by similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties which change over time. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and TriCo and North Valley assume no duty to update forward-looking statements.

In addition to factors previously disclosed in TriCo’s and North Valley’s reports filed with the SEC and those identified elsewhere in this filing (including the section entitled “Risk Factors” beginning on page 23), the following factors among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from forward-looking statements or historical performance:

 

    ability to obtain regulatory approvals and meet other closing conditions to the merger, including approval by TriCo shareholders and North Valley shareholders, on the expected terms and schedule;

 

    delay in closing the merger;

 

    difficulties and delays in integrating the TriCo and North Valley businesses or fully realizing cost savings and other benefits;

 

    business disruption following the merger;

 

    changes in asset quality and credit risk;

 

    inability to sustain revenue and earnings growth;

 

    changes in interest rates and capital markets;

 

    inflation;

 

    customer acceptance of TriCo and North Valley’s products and services;

 

    customer borrowing, repayment, investment and deposit practices;

 

    customer disintermediation;

 

    diversion of management’s attention from ongoing business operations and opportunities;

 

    the introduction, withdrawal, success and timing of business initiatives;

 

    competitive conditions;

 

    economic conditions;

 

    the impact, extent and timing of technological changes, capital management activities, and other actions of the Federal Reserve Board, the Department of Business Oversight and the FDIC, and legislative and regulatory actions and reforms;

 

    the outcome of any legal proceedings that are or may be instituted against TriCo or North Valley;

 

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    liquidity risk affecting Tri Counties Bank’s and North Valley Bank’s ability to meet their obligations when they come due;

 

    price risk focusing on changes in market factors that may affect the value of traded instruments in “mark-to-market” portfolios;

 

    greater than expected noninterest expenses;

 

    excessive loan losses; and

 

    other factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

TriCo Results for Quarter Ended March 31, 2014 (Unaudited)

On April 29, 2014, TriCo announced its unaudited consolidated financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. TriCo’s net income for the three months ended March 31, 2014 was $7,365,000, or $0.45 per diluted share. These results compare to earnings of $8,477,000, or $0.53 per diluted for the three months ended March 31, 2013.

TriCo’s total assets increased $142,751,000 (5.5%) to $2,755,184,000 at March 31, 2014 from $2,612,433,000 at March 31, 2013. Total investments increased $296,854,000 (192%) to $450,955,000 at March 31, 2014 from $154,101,000 at March 31, 2013. Total loans increased $154,690,000 (10.1%) to $1,687,052,000 at March 31, 2014 from $1,532,362,000 at March 31, 2013. Total deposits increased $125,570,000 (5.5%) to $2,411,120,000 at March 31, 2014 from $2,285,550,000 at March 31, 2013.

Net interest income on a fully-taxable equivalent (“FTE”) basis for the first quarter of 2014 increased $1,524,000 (6.2%) from the same period in 2013 to $26,154,000. The increase in net interest income (FTE) was due primarily to a $242,907,000 (147%) increase in the average balance of investments to $407,848,000, and a $122,666,000 (7.9%) increase in the average balance of loans to $1,671,231,000 that were partially offset by a 54 basis point decrease in the average yield on loans from 6.22% during the three months ended March 31, 2013 to 5.68% during the three months ended March 31, 2014. During much of 2013 and the three months ended March 31, 2014, TriCo used a portion of its Federal funds sold to buy investments. The increase in average loan balances was due to organic loan growth and the purchase of $62,698,000 of loans during 2013. The decrease in average loan yields was due primarily to declines in market yields on new and renewed loans compared to yields on repricing, maturing, and paid off loans. The increases in average investment and loan balances added $1,780,000 and $1,907,000 to net interest income (FTE) while the decrease in average loan yields reduced net interest income (FTE) by $2,241,000 when compared to the year-ago quarter. During much of 2013 and the three months ended March 31, 2014, TriCo deployed some of its excess Federal funds sold into some higher yielding investments while trying to maintain an appropriate level of interest rate risk.

TriCo benefited from a $1,355,000 reversal of provision for loan losses during the three months ended March 31, 2014 versus a benefit of $1,108,000 during the three months ended March 31, 2013. The reversal of provision for loan losses during the first quarter of 2014 was primarily the result of improvements in collateral values and estimated cash flows related to nonperforming originated loans and purchased credit impaired loans, reductions in nonperforming originated loans and purchased credit impaired loans, and decreased loss histories for performing originated loans.

Noninterest income decreased $1,923,000 (18.8%) to $8,295,000 in the three months ended March 31, 2014 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2013. The decrease in noninterest income was due primarily to a $1,830,000 (79.9%) decrease in gain on sale of loans to $464,000, and a $450,000 (14.3%) decrease in service charges on deposit accounts that were partially offset by a $676,000 (123%) increase in gain on sale of foreclosed assets to $1,227,000. The decrease in gain on sale of loans was primarily due to the increase in residential real estate mortgage rates that occurred in 2013 that resulted in a significant decrease in mortgage refinance activity, and thus a significant decrease in newly originated mortgages for TriCo to sell. The decrease in service charges on deposit accounts was primarily due to reduced customer overdrafts and a resulting decrease in non-sufficient funds fees. The increase in gain on sale of foreclosed assets was due to a general increase in property values and sales activity from their lows during the financial crisis that started in 2008.

Salary and benefit expenses increased $342,000 (2.6%) to $13,303,000 during the three months ended March 31, 2014 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2013. Base salaries increased $518,000 (6.2%) to $8,866,000 during the three months ended March 31, 2014 versus the year ago period despite a 1.5% decrease in the average number of full time equivalent employees from 743 to 732. The average number of full time equivalent employees decreased primarily due to the reductions in staff from the closing of five branches since December 31, 2012 that was partially offset by increases in full time equivalent back office staff and management. The salary expense attributable to the newly added back office staff and management outweighed the reduction in salary expense from the branch closings. Annual salary merit increases of approximately 2.5% also contributed to the increase in base salary expense. Incentive and commission related salary expenses decreased $163,000 (12.7%) to $1,123,000 during three months ended March 31, 2014 due primarily to decreases in production related incentives tied to reduced residential real estate mortgage loan originations and sales. Benefits expense, including retirement, medical and workers’ compensation insurance, and taxes, decreased $13,000 (0.4%) to $3,314,000 during the three months ended March 31, 2014.

Other noninterest expenses increased $1,374,000 (15.9%) to $10,014,000 during the three months ended March 31, 2014 compared to the three months ended March 31, 2013. The increase in other noninterest expense was due primarily a $303,000 (18.3%) increase in occupancy expense to $1,962,000 that included $238,000 of accelerated depreciation expense of leasehold improvements related to the closing of two branches in the quarter ended March 31, 2014, a $255,000 (58%) reduction in reversal of provision for losses on unfunded commitments to $185,000 from $440,000, a $228,000 (44.8%) increase in professional fees to $739,000 that included $296,000 of legal and consulting fees related to the proposed merger with North Valley, a $147,000 (29.6%) increase in ATM network charges to $643,000, and a $100,000 (9.3%) increase in data processing and software expense.

TriCo’s unaudited consolidated financial statements for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 will be included in TriCo’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the year ended March 31, 2014, which will be filed with the SEC and incorporated by reference into this joint proxy statement/prospectus.

North Valley Results for Quarter Ended March 31, 2014 (Unaudited)

North Valley reported net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 of $919,000, or $0.13 per diluted share compared to net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2013 of $1,261,000, or $0.18 per diluted share.

North Valley did not record a provision for loan losses for the quarters ended March 31, 2014 and 2013. The allowance for loan losses at March 31, 2014 was $9,058,000, or 1.78% of total loans, compared to $9,301,000, or 1.83% of total loans, at December 31, 2013 and $9,651,000, or 1.98% of total loans, at March 31, 2013.

At March 31, 2014, North Valley’s total assets were $918,972,000, an increase of $8,238,000, or 0.9%, from $910,734,000 at March 31, 2013. The loan portfolio totaled $508,056,000 at March 31, 2014, an increase of $19,450,000, or 4.0%, compared to $488,606,000 at March 31, 2013. The loan to deposit ratio at March 31, 2014 was 64.7% as compared to 63.0% at March 31, 2013, and 64.6% at December 31, 2013. Total deposits increased $9,897,000, or 1.3%, to $785,817,000 at March 31, 2014 compared to $775,920,000 at March 31, 2013. Available-for-sale investment securities totaled $273,143,000 at March 31, 2014, a decrease of $10,578,000 from the total at March 31, 2013. When compared to December 31, 2013, total assets increased $1,208,000 from $917,764,000, while loans decreased by $1,188,000 from $509,244,000, and deposits decreased $2,032,000 from $787,849,000. Available-for-sale investment securities decreased $6,336,000 from December 31, 2013 to March 31, 2014, while Federal funds sold increased $6,615,000 from December 31, 2013 to March 31, 2014.

Nonperforming loans (defined as nonaccrual loans and loans 90 days or more past due and still accruing interest) decreased $1,644,000, or 25.5%, to $4,805,000 at March 31, 2014 from $6,449,000 at March 31, 2013, and decreased $288,000 from the December 31, 2013 balance of $5,093,000. Nonperforming loans as a percentage of total loans were 0.95% at March 31, 2014, as compared to 1.00% at December 31, 2013 and 1.32% at March 31, 2013.

During the first quarter of 2014, North Valley identified five loans totaling $1,669,000 as additional nonperforming loans. The additions were offset by reductions in nonperforming loans totaling $1,957,000 due primarily to the transfer of one property to Other Real Estate Owned (“OREO”) totaling $1,231,000, and secondarily to collections received on certain loans and charge-offs. Of the five loans totaling $1,669,000 identified as nonperforming loans during the first quarter of 2014, two relationships make up $1,526,000 of the balance. The first relationship is for a commercial real estate loan totaling $865,000 located in Stanislaus County. There is no specific reserve required for this loan. The second relationship consists of two loans totaling $661,000 for residential income property located in Solano County. North Valley has recorded a $215,000 charge-off for these loans and there is no specific reserve required. The remaining two loans of the five identified as nonperforming loans in the first quarter total $143,000. Charge-offs of $34,000 were recorded against one of the loans and there were no specific reserves required.

Gross loan charge offs for the first quarter of 2014 were $298,000 and recoveries totaled $55,000 resulting in net charge offs of $243,000. Gross loan charge offs for the first quarter of 2013 were $1,056,000 and recoveries totaled $249,000 resulting in net charge offs of $807,000.

Nonperforming assets (nonperforming loans and OREO) totaled $7,438,000 at March 31, 2014, a decrease of $20,376,000 from the March 31, 2013 balance of $27,814,000, and a $1,109,000 decrease from the December 31, 2013 balance of $8,547,000. Nonperforming assets as a percentage of total assets were 0.81% at March 31, 2014 compared to 3.05% at March 31, 2013 and 0.93% at December 31, 2013.

North Valley’s OREO properties decreased $821,000 to $2,633,000 at March 31, 2014 from $3,454,000 at December 31, 2013. The decrease in OREO was due to the sale of three properties totaling $2,227,000 (a gain of $175,000 was recorded on the sale), which was partially offset by the transfer of one property to OREO totaling $1,231,000. Subsequent to March 31, 2014, North Valley sold an OREO property located in Shasta County at its recorded value of $2,154,000 resulting in no loss on the sale. The transaction closed on April 4, 2014.

Net interest income, which represents North Valley’s largest component of revenues and is the difference between interest earned on loans, investments and other earning assets and interest paid on deposits and borrowings, increased $326,000, or 4.4%, for the three months ended March 31, 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. Interest income increased by $251,000, or 3.2%, primarily due to an increase in average earning asset balances. The Company had foregone interest income of $10,000 and $85,000 for the loans on nonaccrual status for the three months ended March 31, 2014 and 2013, respectively. Average loans increased $22,734,000 in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013, while the yield on the loan portfolio decreased 22 basis points to 5.11% for the quarter ended March 31, 2014. Interest expense decreased $75,000, or 17.4%, due primarily to a decrease in the rates paid on deposits for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. Overall, average earning assets increased $41,029,000 to $838,890,000 in the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013. Average yields on earning assets decreased 9 basis points from the quarter ended March 31, 2013, to 3.94% for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 while the average rate paid on interest-bearing liabilities decreased by 5 basis points to 0.23%. North Valley’s net interest margin for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 was 3.77%, a decrease of 4 basis points from the margin of 3.81% for the first quarter in 2013 and an increase of 6 basis points from the 3.71% net interest margin for the linked quarter ended December 31, 2013.

Noninterest income for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 decreased $1,899,000, or 43.9%, to $2,430,000 compared to $4,329,000 for the same period in 2013. Service charges on deposits decreased by $254,000 to $698,000 for the first quarter of 2014 compared to $952,000 for the same period in 2013. Other fees and charges decreased by $108,000 to $1,012,000 for the first quarter of 2014 compared to $1,120,000 for the first quarter of 2013. North Valley recorded gains on the sale of mortgage loans of $184,000, and gains on the sale of SBA loans of $45,000 for the first quarter of 2014 compared to gains of $757,000 and $168,000, respectively, for the same period in 2013. North Valley did not record a gain on the sale of investment securities for the first quarter of 2014 compared to gains on the sale of investment securities of $543,000 for the same period in 2013. Other noninterest income decreased $298,000, to $491,000 for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 compared to $789,000 for the same period in 2013.

Noninterest expense decreased $1,132,000, or 11.5%, to $8,756,000 for the first quarter of 2014 from $9,888,000 for the first quarter in 2013. Salaries and employee benefits decreased $139,000, for the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013. Occupancy and furniture and equipment expense decreased $14,000 for the first quarter of 2014 compared to the first quarter of 2013, OREO expense decreased $366,000 to $10,000, for the first quarter of 2014 compared to $376,000 for the same period in 2013, and FDIC and state assessments decreased $77,000 to $141,000 for the first quarter of 2014, compared to $218,000 for the same period in 2013. Other expense decreased $536,000 to $2,743,000 for the first quarter of 2014 compared to $3,279,000 for the same period in 2013. For the three months ended March 31, 2014, North Valley had approximately $290,000 of merger related expenses resulting from the pending merger with TriCo Bancshares, included in other noninterest expenses.

North Valley recorded a provision for income taxes for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 of $517,000, resulting in an effective tax rate of 36.0%, compared to a provision for income taxes of $616,000, or an effective tax rate of 32.8%, for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

North Valley’s unaudited consolidated financial statements for the quarter ended March 31, 2014 will be included in its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, which will be filed with the SEC and incorporated by reference into this joint proxy statement/prospectus.

 

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RISK FACTORS

In addition to the other information contained in or incorporated by reference into this joint proxy statement/prospectus, including the matters addressed under the caption entitled “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” North Valley shareholders should carefully consider the following risk factors in deciding whether to vote for approval of the merger and approval and adoption of the merger agreement, and TriCo shareholders should carefully consider the following risks in deciding whether to vote for approval of the merger and approval and adoption of the merger agreement and approval of the issuance of the shares of TriCo common stock in the merger. North Valley and TriCo should also consider the other information in this document and the other documents incorporated by reference into this document. Please see the sections entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” beginning on page v and “Incorporation of Certain Documents by Reference” beginning on page 156.

Because the market price of TriCo common stock will fluctuate, the value of the merger consideration to be received by North Valley shareholders may change.

Upon completion of the merger, each share of North Valley common stock (including the associated preferred stock purchase rights issued pursuant to the Amended and Restated Shareholder Protection Rights Agreement dated as of March 26, 2009, as amended, between North Valley and Computershare, Inc., as Rights Agent) will be converted into the merger consideration consisting of a fraction of a share of TriCo common stock pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement. The exchange ratio will not be adjusted for changes in the market price of TriCo or North Valley common stock prior to the closing. The closing price of TriCo common stock on the date that the merger is completed may vary from the closing price of TriCo common stock on the date TriCo and North Valley announced the merger, on the date that this document is being mailed to each of the TriCo and North Valley shareholders, and on the date of the shareholders’ meeting of TriCo and North Valley shareholders. Any change in the market price of TriCo common stock prior to completion of the merger may affect the value of the merger consideration that North Valley shareholders will receive upon completion of the merger. Stock price changes may result from a variety of factors, including general market and economic conditions, changes in our respective businesses, operations and prospects, and regulatory considerations, among other things. Many of these factors are beyond the control of TriCo and North Valley. North Valley shareholders should obtain current market quotations for shares of TriCo common stock before voting their shares at the North Valley special meeting.

North Valley shareholders will have a reduced ownership and voting interest after the merger and will exercise less influence over management.

North Valley shareholders currently have the right to vote in the election of the board of directors of North Valley and on other matters affecting North Valley. Upon the completion of the merger, each North Valley shareholder who receives shares of TriCo common stock will become a shareholder of TriCo with a percentage ownership of TriCo that is smaller than such shareholder’s percentage ownership of North Valley. It is currently expected that the former shareholders of North Valley as a group will receive shares in the merger constituting approximately 28.6% of the outstanding shares of TriCo common stock immediately after the merger. Because of this, North Valley shareholders may have less influence on the management and policies of TriCo than they now have on the management and policies of North Valley.

The market price for TriCo common stock may be affected by factors different from those that historically have affected North Valley.

Upon completion of the merger, holders of North Valley common stock will become holders of TriCo common stock. TriCo’s business differs from that of North Valley, and accordingly the results of operations of TriCo will be affected by some factors that are different from those currently affecting the results of operations of North Valley. For a discussion of the business of TriCo and North Valley and some important factors to consider in connection with the business, see the section entitled “Information About the Companies” beginning on page 28 and the documents incorporated by reference in this joint proxy statement/prospectus and referred to under the section entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” beginning on page v.

 

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TriCo may fail to realize the anticipated benefits of the merger.

The success of the merger will depend on, among other things, TriCo’s ability to combine the businesses of TriCo and North Valley. If TriCo is not able to successfully achieve this objective, the anticipated benefits of the merger may not be realized fully, or at all, or may take longer to realize than expected.

TriCo and North Valley have operated and, until the consummation of the merger, will continue to operate independently. It is possible that the integration process or other factors could result in the loss or departure of key employees, the disruption of the ongoing business of TriCo or inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies. It is also possible that clients, customers, depositors and counterparties of TriCo could choose to discontinue their relationships with the combined company post-merger because they prefer doing business with an independent company or for any other reason, which would adversely affect the future performance of the combined company. These transition matters could have an adverse effect on each of TriCo and North Valley during the pre-merger period and for an undetermined time after the consummation of the merger.

Regulatory approvals may not be received, may take longer than expected or may impose conditions that are not presently anticipated or cannot be met.

Before the transactions contemplated in the merger agreement, including the merger and the bank merger, may be completed, various approvals must be obtained from the bank regulatory and other governmental authorities. These governmental entities may impose conditions on the granting of such approvals. Such conditions or changes and the process of obtaining regulatory approvals could have the effect of delaying completion of the merger or of imposing additional costs or limitations on TriCo following the merger. The regulatory approvals may not be received at any time, may not be received in a timely fashion, and may contain conditions on the completion of the merger that are not anticipated or cannot be met. It is a condition to closing the merger that no regulatory approval shall contain or shall have resulted in, or reasonably be expected to result in the imposition of, any burdensome condition on TriCo as the surviving company following the merger.

The merger agreement may be terminated in accordance with its terms and the merger may not be completed.

The merger agreement is subject to a number of conditions which must be fulfilled in order to complete the merger. Those conditions include: approval of the merger agreement by North Valley shareholders, approval of the merger agreement and the issuance of TriCo common stock in connection with the merger by TriCo shareholders, receipt of requisite regulatory approvals subject to certain limitations set forth in the merger agreement, absence of orders prohibiting completion of the merger, effectiveness of the registration statement of which this document is a part, approval of the shares of TriCo common stock to be issued to North Valley shareholders for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, the continued accuracy of the representations and warranties by both parties and the performance by both parties of their covenants and agreements, and the receipt by both parties of opinions from their respective legal or tax advisors. These conditions to the closing of the merger may not be fulfilled and, accordingly, the merger may not be completed. In addition, if the merger is not completed by January 21, 2015, either TriCo or North Valley may choose not to proceed with the merger, and the parties can mutually decide to terminate the merger agreement at any time, before or after shareholder approval. In addition, TriCo and North Valley may elect to terminate the merger agreement in certain other circumstances. If the merger agreement is terminated under certain circumstances, North Valley may be required to pay a termination fee of $7.6 million to TriCo. If the merger agreement is terminated under certain other circumstances, TriCo may be required to pay a termination fee of $3.8 million to North Valley. Please refer to the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Termination; Termination Fee” beginning on page 94 for a fuller description of these circumstances.

Termination of the merger agreement could negatively impact North Valley.

North Valley’s business may have been adversely impacted by the failure to pursue other beneficial opportunities due to the focus of management on the merger, without realizing any of the anticipated benefits of completing the merger, and the market price of North Valley common stock might decline to the extent that the current market price reflects a market assumption that the merger will be completed. If the merger agreement is terminated and North Valley’s board of directors seeks another merger or business combination, North Valley shareholders cannot be certain that North Valley will be able to find a party willing to offer equivalent or more attractive consideration than the consideration TriCo has agreed to provide in the merger. If the merger agreement is terminated under certain circumstances, North Valley may be required to pay a termination fee of $7.6 million to TriCo. Please refer to the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Termination; Termination Fee” beginning on page 94.

 

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North Valley will be subject to business uncertainties and contractual restrictions while the merger is pending.

Uncertainty about the effect of the merger on employees and customers may have an adverse effect on North Valley and consequently on TriCo. These uncertainties may impair North Valley’s ability to attract, retain and motivate key personnel until the merger is completed, and could cause customers and others that deal with North Valley to seek to change existing business relationships with North Valley. Retention of certain employees may be challenging during the pendency of the merger, as certain employees may experience uncertainty about their future roles. If key employees depart because of issues relating to the uncertainty and difficulty of integration or a desire not to remain with the business, TriCo’s business following the merger could be negatively impacted. In addition, the merger agreement restricts North Valley from taking certain specified actions until the merger occurs without the consent of TriCo. These restrictions may prevent North Valley from pursuing attractive business opportunities that may arise prior to the completion of the merger. Please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Covenants and Agreements” beginning on page 80 for a description of the restrictive covenants applicable to North Valley.

North Valley directors and officers may have interests in the merger different from the interests of other North Valley shareholders.

The interests of some of the directors and executive officers of North Valley may be different from those of other North Valley shareholders, and directors and officers of North Valley may be participants in arrangements that are different from, or are in addition to, those of other North Valley shareholders. The merger would constitute a “change of control” for purposes of the North Valley Salary Continuation Plan and payments under the Salary Continuation Plan would be due North Valley executive officers at the effective time of the merger. Further, the payment of benefits to executive officers under the North Valley Executed Deferred Compensation Plan would be accelerated upon a “change in control,” if that had been elected by the executive officer, and otherwise would be paid by TriCo following the effective time of the merger in a lump sum or in installments, in each case according to the election made by each executive officer; and the payment of benefits to non-employee directors under the North Valley Director Deferred Fee Plan would be accelerated upon a “change in control” if that had been elected by the director, and otherwise would be paid by TriCo following the effective time of the merger in a lump sum or in installments, in each case according to the election made by each director. In addition, each of North Valley’s executive officers and directors hold equity awards, the treatment of which is described below under “Treatment of North Valley Stock Options”. Upon completion of the merger, three individuals designated by the board of directors of TriCo will join the board of directors of TriCo. The designated individuals will be selected by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the board of directors of TriCo. These interests are described in more detail under the section entitled “The Merger—Interests of North Valley Directors and Executive Officers in the Merger” beginning on page 72.

Shares of TriCo common stock to be received by North Valley shareholders as a result of the merger will have rights different from the shares of North Valley common stock.

Upon completion of the merger, the rights of former North Valley shareholders will be governed by the articles of incorporation and bylaws of TriCo. The rights associated with North Valley common stock are different from the rights associated with TriCo common stock, although both companies are organized under California law. Please see the section entitled “Comparison of Shareholders’ Rights” beginning on page 107 for a discussion of the different rights associated with TriCo common stock.

The merger agreement contains provisions that may discourage other companies from trying to acquire North Valley for greater merger consideration.

The merger agreement contains provisions that may discourage a third party from submitting a business combination proposal to North Valley that might result in greater value to North Valley’s shareholders than the merger. These provisions include a general prohibition on North Valley from soliciting, or, subject to certain exceptions, entering into discussions with any third party regarding any acquisition proposal or offers for competing transactions. The members of the board of directors of North Valley have agreed to vote their shares of North Valley common stock in favor of the North Valley Merger proposal and the North Valley Adjournment proposal, and against any alternative transaction. North Valley also has an unqualified obligation to submit the North Valley Merger proposal to a vote by its shareholders, even if North Valley receives a proposal that its board of directors believes is superior to the merger. The shareholders that are party to the shareholder agreements described in this paragraph beneficially own in the aggregate approximately []% of the outstanding shares of North Valley common stock as of the record date. In addition, North Valley may be required to pay TriCo a termination fee of $7.6 million

 

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in certain circumstances involving acquisition proposals for competing transactions. For further information, please see the sections entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96 and “The Merger Agreement—Termination; Termination Fee” beginning on page 94.

The combined company expects to incur substantial expenses related to the merger.

The combined company expects to incur substantial expenses in connection with consummation of the merger and combining the business, operations, networks, systems, technologies, policies and procedures of the two companies. Although TriCo and North Valley have assumed that a certain level of transaction and combination expenses would be incurred, there are a number of factors beyond their control that could affect the total amount or the timing of their combination expenses. Many of the expenses that will be incurred, by their nature, are difficult to estimate accurately at the present time. Due to these factors, the transaction and combination expenses associated with the merger could, particularly in the near term, exceed the savings that the combined company expects to achieve from the elimination of duplicative expenses and the realization of economies of scale and cost savings related to the combination of the businesses following the consummation of the merger. As a result of these expenses, both TriCo and North Valley expect to take charges against their earnings before and after the completion of the merger. The charges taken in connection with the merger are expected to be significant, although the aggregate amount and timing of such charges are uncertain at present.

The merger will result in changes to the board of directors of the combined company.

Upon completion of the merger, the composition of the board of directors of the combined company will be different than the current boards of TriCo and North Valley. The TriCo board of directors currently consists of nine directors and, upon the completion of the merger, three individuals who are currently directors of North Valley will be designated by TriCo to join the TriCo board of directors. This new composition of the board of directors of the combined company may affect the future decisions of the combined company.

In connection with the announcement of the merger agreement, one lawsuit has been filed and is pending seeking, among other things, to enjoin the merger, and an adverse judgment in this lawsuit may prevent the merger from becoming effective within the expected time frame (if at all).

On January 24, 2014, a purported shareholder of North Valley filed a lawsuit in connection with the merger. Captioned Solak v. North Valley Bancorp, et al., Case No. 179099, the suit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, Shasta County, against North Valley, its directors, and TriCo. It is brought as a putative class action and alleges that North Valley’s directors breached certain alleged fiduciary duties to North Valley’s shareholders by approving the merger agreement pursuant to an allegedly unfair process and at an allegedly unfair price. It alleges that North Valley and TriCo aided and abetted those breaches. The suit seeks, among other things, to enjoin consummation of the merger. At this stage, it is not possible to predict the outcome of the proceedings and their impact on North Valley or TriCo. If the plaintiff is successful in enjoining the consummation of the merger, the lawsuit may prevent the merger from becoming effective within the expected timeframe (if it is completed at all).

The unaudited pro forma combined condensed financial information included in this joint proxy statement/prospectus is illustrative and the actual financial condition and results of operations after the merger may differ materially.

The unaudited pro forma combined condensed financial information in this joint proxy statement/prospectus is presented for illustrative purposes only and is not necessarily indicative of what TriCo’s actual financial condition or results of operations would have been had the merger been completed on the dates indicated. The pro forma combined condensed financial information reflects adjustments, which are based upon preliminary estimates, to record the North Valley identifiable assets acquired and liabilities assumed at fair value and the resulting goodwill recognized. The purchase price allocation reflected in this joint proxy statement/prospectus is preliminary and final allocation of the purchase price will be based upon the actual purchase price and the fair value of the assets and liabilities of North Valley as of the date of the completion of the merger. Accordingly, the final acquisition accounting adjustments may differ materially from the pro forma adjustments reflected in this joint proxy statement/prospectus. For more information, please see the section entitled “Unaudited Pro Forma Combined Condensed Financial Statements” beginning on page 101.

 

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The opinions of North Valley’s and TriCo’s financial advisors will not reflect changes in circumstances between the signing of the merger agreement and the completion of the merger.

TriCo and North Valley each received a written opinion from their respective financial advisors on January 21, 2014. Subsequent changes in the operations and prospects of North Valley or TriCo, general market and economic conditions and other factors that may be beyond the control of North Valley or TriCo, and on which North Valley’s and TriCo financial advisors’ opinions were based, may significantly alter the value of North Valley or the prices of the shares of TriCo common stock or North Valley common stock by the time the merger is completed. The opinions do not speak as of the time the merger will be completed or as of any date other than the date of such opinions. North Valley and TriCo do not anticipate asking their respective financial advisors to update their opinions. Consequently, North Valley’s board of directors’ recommendation that North Valley shareholders vote “FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal and TriCo’s board of directors’ recommendation that TriCo shareholders vote “FOR” the TriCo Merger proposal are each made as of the date of this joint proxy statement/prospectus. For a description of the opinions that TriCo and North Valley received from their respective financial advisors, please refer to the sections entitled “The Merger—Opinion of North Valley’s Financial Advisor” beginning on page 48 and “The Merger—Opinion of TriCo’s Financial Advisor” beginning on page 60.

 

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INFORMATION ABOUT THE COMPANIES

TriCo Bancshares

63 Constitution Drive

Chico, California 95973

(530) 898-0300

TriCo Bancshares is a bank holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended. As of December 31, 2013, TriCo had consolidated total assets of approximately $2.7 billion, total loans of approximately $1.7 billion, deposits of approximately $2.4 billion and shareholders’ equity of approximately $250.9 million. TriCo had 733 full-time equivalent employees of December 31, 2013.

TriCo’s principal business is to serve as the holding company for its banking subsidiary, Tri Counties Bank. TriCo and Tri Counties Bank are headquartered in Chico, California. Tri Counties Bank has a 38-year history in the banking industry. It operates 41 traditional branch locations and 22 in-store branch locations in 23 California counties. Tri Counties Bank offers financial services and provides a diversified line of products and services to consumers and businesses, which include demand, savings and time deposits, consumer finance, online banking, mortgage lending, and commercial banking throughout its market area. It operates a network of 69 ATMs and an automated Customer Service Department, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

TriCo’s stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “TCBK”.

Additional information about TriCo and its subsidiaries may be found in the documents incorporated by reference into this joint proxy statement/prospectus. Please also see the section entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” beginning on page v.

North Valley Bancorp

300 Park Marina Circle

Redding, California 96001

(530) 226-2900

North Valley Bancorp is a bank holding company registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended. As of December 31, 2013, North Valley had consolidated total assets of approximately $917.8 million, total gross loans of approximately $509.2 million, deposits of approximately $787.8 million and shareholders’ equity of approximately $93.4 million. North Valley had 297 full-time equivalent employees as of December 31, 2013.

North Valley’s primary function is to serve as the holding company for its bank subsidiary, North Valley Bank. North Valley Bank was incorporated as a California corporation in September 1972 and commenced operations as a California state-chartered commercial bank in 1973. North Valley Bank is a full-service commercial bank headquartered in Redding, California. North Valley Bank operates twenty-two commercial banking offices in Shasta, Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino, Yolo, Sonoma, Placer and Trinity Counties in Northern California, including two in-store supermarket branches and six Business Banking Centers. Its operations include accepting demand, savings, and money market rate deposit accounts and time deposits, and making commercial, real estate and consumer loans. North Valley Bank also issues cashier’s checks and provides safe deposit boxes and other customary banking services. In addition, certain securities broker-dealer services and standardized investment advice are made available to customers of North Valley Bank through a contractual arrangement with Essex Corporation, a New York corporation, and Essex National Securities, Inc., a registered broker-dealer.

North Valley’s stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “NOVB”.

Additional information about North Valley and its subsidiaries may be found in the documents incorporated by reference into this joint proxy statement/prospectus. Please also see the section entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” beginning on page v.

 

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NORTH VALLEY SPECIAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

Date, Time and Place

The special meeting of North Valley shareholders will be held at [] at [], Pacific time, on [], 2014. On or about [], 2014, North Valley commenced mailing this document and the enclosed form of proxy to its shareholders entitled to vote at the North Valley special meeting.

Purpose of North Valley Special Meeting

At the North Valley special meeting, North Valley shareholders will be asked to:

 

    approve the merger and approve and adopt the merger agreement, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A to this document, which is referred to as the North Valley Merger proposal;

 

    approve, on an advisory (non-binding) basis, specified compensation that may become payable to the named executive officers of North Valley in connection with the merger, which is referred to as the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation; and

 

    approve one or more adjournments of the North Valley special meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including adjournments to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the North Valley Merger proposal, which is referred to as the North Valley Adjournment proposal.

Recommendation of the North Valley Board of Directors

The North Valley board of directors unanimously recommends that you vote “FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal, “FOR” the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation and “FOR” the North Valley Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate). Please see the section entitled “The Merger—Reasons For the Merger and Recommendation of the North Valley Board of Directors” beginning on page 45.

Each of the directors of North Valley has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed to vote “FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal and “FOR” the North Valley Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate). For more information regarding the shareholder agreements, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96.

North Valley Record Date and Quorum

The North Valley board of directors has fixed the close of business on [], 2014 as the record date for determining the holders of North Valley common stock entitled to receive notice of and to vote at the North Valley special meeting.

As of the North Valley record date, there were [] shares of North Valley common stock outstanding and entitled to vote at the North Valley special meeting held by [] holders of record. Each share of North Valley common stock entitles the holder to one vote at the North Valley special meeting on each proposal to be considered at the North Valley special meeting.

A majority of the shares entitled to vote, represented either in person or by a properly executed proxy, will constitute a quorum at the special meeting. Votes cast will be counted by the inspectors of election at the special meeting. The inspectors will treat abstentions and “broker non-votes” as shares that are present and entitled to vote for purposes of determining the presence of a quorum, but they are not treated as shares voted on any proposal. Broker non-votes are shares held by brokers or nominees as to which instructions have not been received from the beneficial owners or persons entitled to vote and the broker or nominee does not have discretionary voting power under applicable rules of the stock exchange or other self-regulatory organization of which the broker or nominee is a member.

 

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As of the record date, directors and executive officers of North Valley owned and were entitled to vote [] shares of North Valley common stock, representing approximately []% of the shares of North Valley common stock outstanding on that date. North Valley currently expects that North Valley’s directors and executive officers will vote their shares in favor of the North Valley Merger proposal, the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation, and the North Valley Adjournment proposal. The members of the board of directors of North Valley have each entered into a shareholder agreement with respect to the merger and have agreed to vote their shares of North Valley common stock in favor of the North Valley Merger proposal and the North Valley Adjournment proposal. For further information, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96. As of the record date, TriCo beneficially held [] shares of North Valley common stock.

Participants in the North Valley ESOP

If you hold shares through the North Valley employee stock ownership plan and trust, as amended and restated effective January 1, 2010, the proxy card represents a voting instruction to the trustee as to the number of shares in your plan account. Each participant in the North Valley ESOP may direct the trustee as to the manner in which shares of North Valley common stock allocated to the participant’s plan account are to be voted. Shares allocated to accounts for which no voting instructions are given will be voted by the trustee in the same proportion as the shares for which voting instructions have been received by the trustee, as provided in the North Valley ESOP. The deadline for returning your voting instructions to the trustee is [].

Required Vote

Required Vote to Approve the North Valley Merger Proposal

The affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of North Valley common stock entitled to vote is required to approve the North Valley Merger proposal.

Required Vote to Approve the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation and the North Valley Adjournment Proposal

Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of North Valley common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the North Valley special meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to approve each of the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation and the North Valley Adjournment proposal.

Treatment of Abstentions; Failure to Vote

For purposes of the North Valley special meeting, an abstention occurs when a North Valley shareholder attends the North Valley special meeting, either in person or by proxy, but abstains from voting.

 

    For the North Valley Merger proposal, an abstention or a failure to vote will have the same effect as a vote cast “AGAINST” this proposal.

 

    For the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation and the North Valley Adjournment proposal, abstentions will have no effect on such proposals, unless there are insufficient votes in favor of these proposals, such that the affirmative votes constitute less than a majority of the required quorum. In such cases, abstentions will have the same effect as a vote “AGAINST” these proposals.

 

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Voting on Proxies; Incomplete Proxies

Giving a proxy means that a North Valley shareholder authorizes the persons named in the enclosed proxy card to vote its shares at the North Valley special meeting in the manner it directs. A North Valley shareholder may vote by proxy or in person at the North Valley special meeting. If you hold your shares of North Valley common stock in your name as a shareholder of record, to submit a proxy, you, as a North Valley shareholder, may use one of the following methods:

 

    By telephone: Use any touch-tone telephone to vote your proxy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Have your proxy card handy when you call. You will be prompted to enter your control number, which is located on your proxy card, and then follow the directions given.

 

    Through the Internet: Use the Internet to vote your proxy 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Have your proxy card handy when you access the website. You will be prompted to enter your control number, which is located on your proxy card, to create and submit an electronic ballot.

 

    By mail: Complete and return the proxy card in the enclosed envelope. The envelope requires no additional postage if mailed in the United States.

North Valley requests that North Valley shareholders vote by telephone, over the Internet or by completing, signing and dating the accompanying proxy and returning it to North Valley as soon as possible in the enclosed postage-paid envelope. When the accompanying proxy is returned properly executed, the shares of North Valley stock represented by it will be voted at the North Valley special meeting in accordance with the instructions contained on the proxy card.

If any proxy is returned without indication as to how to vote, the shares of North Valley common stock represented by the proxy will be voted as recommended by the North Valley board of directors. Unless a North Valley shareholder checks the box on its proxy card to withhold discretionary authority, the proxy holders may use their discretion to vote on any other matters voted upon at the North Valley special meeting.

If a North Valley shareholder’s shares are held in “street name” by a broker, bank or other nominee, the shareholder should check the voting form used by that firm to determine whether it may vote by telephone or the Internet.

Every North Valley shareholder’s vote is important. Accordingly, each North Valley shareholder should complete, sign, date and return the enclosed proxy card, or vote via the Internet or by telephone, whether or not the North Valley shareholder plans to attend the North Valley special meeting in person.

Shares Held in Street Name

If you are a North Valley shareholder and your shares are held in “street name” through a bank, broker or other holder of record, you must provide the record holder of your shares with instructions on how to vote your shares. Please follow the voting instructions provided by the bank or broker. You may not vote shares held in street name by returning a proxy card directly to North Valley or by voting in person at the North Valley special meeting unless you provide a “legal proxy,” which you must obtain from your broker, bank or other nominee. Further, brokers, banks or other nominees who hold shares of North Valley common stock on behalf of their customers may not give a proxy to North Valley to vote those shares with respect to any of the proposals without specific instructions from their customers, as brokers, banks and other nominees do not have discretionary voting power on these matters. Therefore, if you are a North Valley shareholder and you do not instruct your broker, bank or other nominee on how to vote your shares:

 

    your broker, bank or other nominee may not vote your shares on the North Valley Merger proposal, which broker non-votes will have the same effect as a vote “AGAINST” this proposal; and

 

    your broker, bank or other nominee may not vote your shares on the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation or the North Valley Adjournment proposal, which broker non-votes will have no effect on the vote count for these proposals.

 

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Revocability of Proxies and Changes to a North Valley Shareholder’s Vote

A North Valley shareholder has the power to change its vote at any time before its shares of North Valley common stock are voted at the North Valley special meeting by:

 

    sending a notice of revocation to North Valley Bancorp, Attention: Corporate Secretary, 300 Park Marina Circle, Redding, California 96001, stating that you would like to revoke your proxy;

 

    logging onto the Internet website specified on your proxy card in the same manner you would to submit your proxy electronically or by calling the telephone number specified on your proxy card, in each case if you are eligible to do so and following the instructions on the proxy card;

 

    sending a completed proxy card bearing a later date than your original proxy card; or

 

    attending the North Valley special meeting and voting in person.

If you choose any of the first three methods, you must take the described action no later than the beginning of the North Valley special meeting. If you choose to send a completed proxy card bearing a later date than your original proxy card or a notice of revocation, the new proxy card or notice of revocation must be received before the beginning of the North Valley special meeting. If you have instructed a bank, broker or other nominee to vote your shares of North Valley common stock, you must follow the directions you receive from your bank, broker or other nominee in order to change or revoke your vote.

Solicitation of Proxies

The cost of solicitation of proxies from North Valley shareholders will be borne by North Valley. North Valley will reimburse brokerage firms and other custodians, nominees and fiduciaries for reasonable expenses incurred by them in sending proxy materials to the beneficial owners of common stock. In addition to solicitations by mail, North Valley’s directors, officers and regular employees may solicit proxies personally or by telephone without additional compensation.

Attending the North Valley Special Meeting

Subject to space availability, all North Valley shareholders as of the record date, or their duly appointed proxies, may attend the North Valley special meeting. Since seating is limited, admission to the North Valley special meeting will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration and seating will begin at [], Pacific time.

If you hold your shares of North Valley common stock in your name as a shareholder of record and you wish to attend the North Valley special meeting, please bring your proxy and evidence of your stock ownership, such as your most recent account statement, to the North Valley special meeting. You must also bring valid photo identification.

If your shares of North Valley common stock are held in “street name” in a stock brokerage account or by a bank or nominee and you wish to attend the North Valley special meeting, you need to bring a copy of a bank or brokerage statement to the North Valley special meeting reflecting your stock ownership as of the record date. You must also bring valid photo identification.

 

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NORTH VALLEY PROPOSAL: MERGER

As discussed throughout this joint proxy statement/prospectus, North Valley is asking its shareholders to approve the North Valley Merger proposal. Holders of North Valley common stock should read carefully this joint proxy statement/prospectus in its entirety, including the appendices, for more detailed information concerning the merger agreement and the merger. In particular, holders of North Valley common stock are directed to the merger agreement, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A to this joint proxy statement/prospectus.

Vote Required and North Valley Board Recommendation

The affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of North Valley common stock entitled to vote is required to approve the North Valley Merger proposal.

The North Valley board of directors unanimously recommends a vote “FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal.

Each of the directors of North Valley has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed to vote “FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal. For more information regarding the shareholder agreements, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96.

NORTH VALLEY PROPOSAL: ADVISORY VOTE CONCERNING SPECIFIED COMPENSATION

In accordance with Section 14A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which we refer to as the Exchange Act, North Valley is providing its shareholders with the opportunity to cast an advisory (non-binding) vote on the compensation that may be payable to its named executive officers in connection with the merger, the value of which is set forth in the table included in the section of this joint proxy statement/prospectus entitled “The Merger—Merger-Related Compensation for North Valley’s Named Executive Officers” beginning on page 75. As required by Section 14A of the Exchange Act, North Valley is asking its shareholders to vote on the adoption of the following resolution:

“RESOLVED, that the compensation that may be paid or become payable to North Valley’s named executive officers in connection with the merger, as disclosed in the table in the section of the joint proxy statement/prospectus statement entitled “The Merger—Merger-Related Compensation for North Valley’s Named Executive Officers,” including the associated narrative discussion, are hereby APPROVED.”

The vote on executive compensation payable in connection with the merger is a vote separate and apart from the vote to approve the merger. Accordingly, a North Valley shareholder may vote to approve the executive compensation and vote not to approve the merger and vice versa. Because the vote is advisory in nature only, it will not be binding on either North Valley or TriCo. Accordingly, because North Valley is contractually obligated to pay the compensation, the compensation will be payable, subject only to the conditions applicable thereto, if the merger is approved and regardless of the outcome of the advisory vote.

The North Valley board of directors unanimously recommends a vote “FOR” the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation.

NORTH VALLEY PROPOSAL: ADJOURNMENT

The North Valley special meeting may be adjourned to another time or place, if necessary or appropriate, to solicit additional proxies if there are insufficient votes at the time of the North Valley special meeting to approve the North Valley Merger proposal.

If, at the North Valley special meeting, the number of shares of North Valley common stock present or represented and voting in favor of the North Valley Merger proposal is insufficient to approve the North Valley Merger proposal, North Valley intends to move to adjourn the North Valley special meeting in order to enable the

 

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North Valley board of directors to solicit additional proxies for approval of the merger. In that event, North Valley will ask its shareholders to vote only upon the North Valley Adjournment proposal, and not the North Valley Merger proposal or the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation.

In the North Valley Adjournment proposal, North Valley is asking its shareholders to authorize the holder of any proxy solicited by the North Valley board of directors to vote in favor of granting discretionary authority to the proxy holders, to adjourn the North Valley special meeting to another time and place for the purpose of soliciting additional proxies. If the North Valley shareholders approve the North Valley Adjournment proposal, North Valley could adjourn the North Valley special meeting and use the additional time to solicit additional proxies, including the solicitation of proxies from North Valley shareholders who have previously voted.

The North Valley board of directors unanimously recommends a vote “FOR” the North Valley Adjournment proposal.

Each of the directors of North Valley has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed to vote “FOR” the North Valley Adjournment proposal. For more information regarding the shareholder agreements, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96.

Other Matters to Come Before the North Valley Special Meeting

No other matters are intended to be brought before the North Valley special meeting by North Valley, and North Valley does not know of any matters to be brought before the North Valley special meeting by others. If, however, any other matters properly come before the North Valley special meeting, the persons named in the proxy will vote the shares represented thereby in accordance with their best judgment on any such matter.

North Valley 2014 Annual Meeting

As a result of the pending merger with TriCo, the North Valley board of directors has postponed the 2014 annual meeting of North Valley shareholders, including the election of directors. North Valley annual meetings are normally held in the month of May each year and the 2013 annual meeting was held on May 30, 2013. If the TriCo merger is consummated during 2014, as anticipated, North Valley shareholders will become TriCo shareholders and North Valley will cease to exist as a corporation, so no annual meeting of North Valley shareholders would be necessary. If, for any reason, completion of the merger is delayed, or the merger agreement is terminated, the North Valley board of directors would then determine whether to call for an annual meeting of North Valley shareholders for 2014, in order to remain in compliance with the bylaws of the corporation and applicable law.

 

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TRICO ANNUAL MEETING OF SHAREHOLDERS

Date, Time and Place

The annual meeting of TriCo shareholders will be held at TriCo’s headquarters at 63 Constitution Drive, Chico, California at [], Pacific time, on [], 2014. On or about [], TriCo commenced mailing this document and the enclosed form of proxy to its shareholders entitled to vote at the TriCo annual meeting.

Purpose of TriCo Annual Meeting

At the TriCo annual meeting, TriCo shareholders will be asked to:

 

    approve the merger and approve and adopt the merger agreement, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A to this document, and approve the issuance of TriCo common stock, no par value per share pursuant to the merger agreement, which is referred to as the TriCo Merger proposal; and

 

    elect nine directors for terms expiring at the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders;

 

    reapprove the existing performance criteria under the TriCo 2009 equity incentive plan;

 

    approve an advisory resolution concerning the compensation of TriCo executives;

 

    ratify the selection of Crowe Horwath LLP as TriCo’s principal independent auditor for 2014;

 

    approve one or more adjournments of the TriCo annual meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including adjournments to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the TriCo Merger proposal, which is referred to as the TriCo Adjournment proposal.

Recommendation of the TriCo Board of Directors

The TriCo board of directors unanimously recommends that you vote “FOR” the TriCo Merger proposal, “FOR” the election of TriCo’s director nominees, “FOR” the reapproval of the existing performance criteria under TriCo’s 2009 equity incentive plan, “FOR” the approval of TriCo’s executive compensation program, “FOR” the ratification of Crowe Horwath LLP as TriCo’s principal independent auditor for 2014, and “FOR” any adjournment of the TriCo annual meeting, if necessary or appropriate, including to permit further solicitation of proxies in favor of the above-listed proposals.

Each of the directors of TriCo has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed to vote “FOR” the TriCo Merger proposal and “FOR” the TriCo Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate). For more information regarding the shareholder agreements, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96.

TriCo Record Date and Quorum

The TriCo board of directors has fixed the close of business on [] as the record date for determining the holders of TriCo common stock entitled to receive notice of and to vote at the TriCo annual meeting.

As of the TriCo record date, there were [] shares of TriCo common stock outstanding and entitled to vote at the TriCo annual meeting held by [] holders of record. Each share of TriCo common stock entitles the holder to one vote at the TriCo annual meeting on each proposal to be considered at the TriCo annual meeting.

The representation of holders of at least a majority of the shares entitled to vote on the matters to be voted on at the TriCo annual meeting constitutes a quorum for transacting business at the TriCo annual meeting. All shares of TriCo common stock, whether present in person or represented by proxy, including abstentions and broker non-votes, will be treated as present for purposes of determining the presence or absence of a quorum for all matters voted on at the TriCo annual meeting.

 

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As of the record date, directors and executive officers of TriCo and their affiliates owned and were entitled to vote [] shares of TriCo common stock, representing approximately []% of the shares of TriCo common stock outstanding on that date. TriCo currently expects that TriCo’s directors and executive officers will vote their shares in favor of the TriCo Merger proposal and the TriCo Adjournment proposal. The members of the board of directors of TriCo have each entered into a shareholder agreement with respect to the merger and agreed to vote their shares in favor of the TriCo Merger proposal. Please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96. As of the record date, North Valley beneficially held [] shares of TriCo common stock.

Required Vote

Approval of the TriCo Merger proposal: The affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of TriCo common stock entitled to vote is required to approve the TriCo Merger proposal.

Election of directors: The nine directors who receive the most votes will be elected. If you do not vote for a particular nominee, or you indicate “WITHHOLD” authority to vote for a particular nominee on your proxy card, your vote will not count either “FOR” or “AGAINST” the nominee. In the election of directors, under California law and TriCo’s bylaws, you may cumulate your votes in the election of the directors by following the procedures described at “Corporate Governance, Board Nomination and Board Committees—Nomination and Election of Directors.” If the proxy is marked “FOR” all of the director nominees or not marked with respect to election of directors, authority will be granted to the persons named in the proxy to cumulate votes if they so choose and to allocate votes among the nominees in such a manner as they determine is necessary in order to elect all or as many of the nominees as possible.

Reapproval of the existing performance criteria under the TriCo 2009 equity incentive plan: Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of TriCo common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the TriCo annual meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to approve the equity incentive plan proposal.

Approval of the advisory vote on executive compensation: Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of TriCo common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the TriCo annual meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to approve the advisory vote on executive compensation proposal.

Ratification of the principal independent auditor: Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of TriCo common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the TriCo annual meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to approve the principal independent auditor proposal.

Approval of the TriCo Adjournment proposal: Assuming a quorum is present, the affirmative vote of a majority of the shares of TriCo common stock represented (in person or by proxy) at the TriCo annual meeting and entitled to vote on the proposal is required to approve the TriCo Adjournment proposal.

Treatment of Abstentions; Failure to Vote

For purposes of the TriCo annual meeting, an abstention occurs when a TriCo shareholder attends the TriCo annual meeting, either in person or by proxy, but abstains from voting.

 

    For the TriCo Merger proposal, an abstention or failure to vote will have the same effect as a vote cast “AGAINST” this proposal.

 

    Abstentions will not impact the election of directors.

 

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Abstentions will have no effect on the proposals to reapprove the existing performance criteria under TriCo’s 2009 equity incentive plan, the advisory proposal concerning executive compensation, the ratification of TriCo’s principal independent auditor for 2014, and the TriCo Adjournment, unless there are insufficient votes in favor of these proposals, such that the affirmative votes constitute less than a majority of the required quorum. In such cases, abstentions will have the same effect as a vote against these proposals.

Voting on Proxies; Incomplete Proxies

Giving a proxy means that a TriCo shareholder authorizes the persons named in the enclosed proxy card to vote its shares at the TriCo annual meeting in the manner it directs. A TriCo shareholder may vote by proxy or in person at the TriCo annual meeting. If you hold your shares of TriCo common stock in your name as a shareholder of record, to submit a proxy, you, as a TriCo shareholder, may use one of the following methods:

 

    By telephone: Use any touch-tone telephone to vote your proxy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Have your proxy card handy when you call. You will be prompted to enter your control number(s), which is located on your proxy card, and then follow the directions given.

 

    Through the Internet: Use the Internet to vote your proxy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Have your proxy card handy when you access the website. You will be prompted to enter your control number(s), which is located on your proxy card, to create and submit an electronic ballot.

 

    By mail: Complete and return the proxy card in the enclosed envelope. The envelope requires no additional postage if mailed in the United States.

TriCo requests that TriCo shareholders vote by telephone, over the Internet or by completing and signing the accompanying proxy and returning it to TriCo as soon as possible in the enclosed postage-paid envelope. When the accompanying proxy is returned properly executed, the shares of TriCo stock represented by it will be voted at the TriCo annual meeting in accordance with the instructions contained on the proxy card.

If any proxy is returned without indication as to how to vote, the shares of TriCo common stock represented by the proxy will be voted as recommended by the TriCo board of directors. Unless a TriCo shareholder checks the box on its proxy card to withhold discretionary authority, the proxy holders may use their discretion to vote on any other matters voted upon at the TriCo annual meeting.

If a TriCo shareholder’s shares are held in “street name” by a broker, bank or other nominee, the shareholder should check the voting form used by that firm to determine whether it may vote by telephone or the Internet.

Every TriCo shareholder’s vote is important. Accordingly, each TriCo shareholder should sign, date and return the enclosed proxy card, or vote via the Internet or by telephone, whether or not the TriCo shareholder plans to attend the TriCo annual meeting in person.

Shares Held in Street Name

If you are a TriCo shareholder and your shares are held in “street name” through a bank, broker or other holder of record, you must provide the record holder of your shares with instructions on how to vote the shares. Please follow the voting instructions provided by the bank or broker. You may not vote shares held in street name by returning a proxy card directly to TriCo or by voting in person at the TriCo annual meeting unless you provide a “legal proxy,” which you must obtain from your broker, bank or other nominee. Further, brokers, banks or other nominees who hold shares of TriCo common stock on behalf of their customers may not give a proxy to TriCo to vote those shares with respect to any of the proposals without specific instructions from their customers, as brokers, banks and other nominees do not have discretionary voting power on these matters. Therefore, if you are a TriCo shareholder and you do not instruct your broker, bank or other nominee on how to vote your shares:

 

    your broker, bank or other nominee may not vote your shares on the TriCo Merger proposal, which broker non-votes will have the same effect as a vote “AGAINST” this proposal; and

 

    your broker, bank or other nominee may not vote your shares on the TriCo Adjournment proposal, which broker non-votes will have no effect on the vote count for this proposal.

 

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Voting of Shares Held in the TriCo Bancshares ESOP

If you hold your shares indirectly in the TriCo Bancshares ESOP, you have the right to direct the TriCo trustee how to vote shares allocated to your plan account as described in the voting materials sent to you by the TriCo trustee.

Revocability of Proxies and Changes to a TriCo Shareholder’s Vote

A TriCo shareholder has the power to change its vote at any time before its shares of TriCo common stock are voted at the TriCo annual meeting by:

 

    sending a notice of revocation to TriCo Bancshares, Attention: Corporate Secretary, 63 Constitution Drive, Chico, California 95973 stating that you would like to revoke your proxy;

 

    logging onto the Internet website specified on your proxy card in the same manner you would to submit your proxy electronically or by calling the telephone number specified on your proxy card, in each case if you are eligible to do so and following the instructions on the proxy card;

 

    sending a completed proxy card bearing a later date than your original proxy card; or

 

    attending the TriCo annual meeting and voting in person.

If you choose any of the first three methods, you must take the described action no later than the beginning of the TriCo annual meeting. If you choose to send a completed proxy card bearing a later date than your original proxy card or a notice of revocation, the new proxy card or notice of revocation must be received before the beginning of the TriCo annual meeting. If you have instructed a bank, broker or other nominee to vote your shares of TriCo common stock, you must follow the directions you receive from your bank, broker or other nominee in order to change or revoke your vote.

Solicitation of Proxies

The cost of solicitation of proxies from TriCo shareholders will be borne by TriCo. TriCo will reimburse brokerage firms and other custodians, nominees and fiduciaries for reasonable expenses incurred by them in sending proxy materials to the beneficial owners of common stock. In addition to solicitations by mail, TriCo’s directors, officers and regular employees may solicit proxies personally or by telephone without additional compensation.

Discontinuing Multiple Mailings

If you are a shareholder of record and have more than one account in your name or at the same address as other shareholders of record, you may authorize TriCo to discontinue mailings of multiple annual reports and proxy statements, including this joint proxy statement/prospectus. To discontinue multiple mailings, or to reinstate multiple mailings, please mail your request to TriCo Bancshares, Attention: Shareholder Relations, 63 Constitution Drive, Chico, California 95973.

Attending the TriCo Annual Meeting

Subject to space availability, all TriCo shareholders as of the record date, or their duly appointed proxies, may attend the TriCo annual meeting. Since seating is limited, admission to the TriCo annual meeting will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration and seating will begin at [], Pacific time.

 

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If you hold your shares of TriCo common stock in your name as a shareholder of record and you wish to attend the TriCo annual meeting, please bring your proxy and evidence of your stock ownership, such as your most recent account statement, to the TriCo annual meeting. You must also bring valid picture identification.

If your shares of TriCo common stock are held in “street name” in a stock brokerage account or by a bank or nominee and you wish to attend the TriCo annual meeting, you need to bring a copy of a bank or brokerage statement to the TriCo annual meeting reflecting your stock ownership as of the record date. You must also bring valid picture identification.

 

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TRICO PROPOSAL: MERGER

As discussed throughout this joint proxy statement/prospectus, TriCo is asking its shareholders to approve the TriCo Merger proposal. Holders of TriCo common stock should read carefully this joint proxy statement/prospectus in its entirety, including the appendices, for more detailed information concerning the merger agreement and the merger. In particular, holders of TriCo common stock are directed to the merger agreement, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A to this joint proxy statement/prospectus.

Vote Required and TriCo Board Recommendation

The affirmative vote of a majority of the outstanding shares of TriCo common stock entitled to vote is required to approve the TriCo Merger proposal.

The TriCo board of directors unanimously recommends a vote “FOR” the TriCo Merger proposal.

Each of the directors of TriCo has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed to vote “FOR” the TriCo Merger proposal. For more information regarding the shareholder agreements, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96.

THE MERGER

The following is a discussion of the merger and the material terms of the merger agreement between TriCo and North Valley. You are urged to read carefully the merger agreement in its entirety, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A to this joint proxy statement/prospectus and incorporated by reference herein. This summary does not purport to be complete and may not contain all of the information about the merger agreement that is important to you. This section is not intended to provide you with any factual information about TriCo or North Valley. Such information can be found elsewhere in this joint proxy statement/prospectus and in the public filings TriCo and North Valley make with the SEC, as described in the section entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” beginning on page v.

Terms of the Merger

Transaction Structure

TriCo’s and North Valley’s boards of directors unanimously have approved the merger agreement. The merger agreement provides for the acquisition of North Valley by TriCo through the merger of North Valley with and into TriCo, with TriCo continuing as the surviving corporation. Immediately upon the closing of the merger, North Valley Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of North Valley, will merge with and into Tri Counties Bank, a bank chartered under the laws of the State of California and a wholly owned subsidiary of TriCo, with Tri Counties Bank being the surviving bank.

Merger Consideration

In the merger, each share of North Valley common stock, no par value per share, owned by a North Valley shareholder (including the associated preferred stock purchase rights issued pursuant to the Amended and Restated Shareholder Protection Rights Agreement dated as of March 26, 2009, as amended, between North Valley and Computershare, Inc., as Rights Agent) will be converted into the right to receive 0.9433 shares of TriCo common stock, no par value per share. A North Valley shareholder will receive any whole shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive and cash in lieu of any fractional shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive.

Based on the closing share price of TriCo common stock of $27.93 on January 21, 2014, the last trading day before the announcement of the merger, the value of the merger consideration was $26.35 per share. The value of the TriCo common stock on [], the most recent day for which information was available prior to the printing and

 

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mailing of this document, was [] based upon the exchange ratio. The share price of TriCo common stock will fluctuate and accordingly, the value of the merger consideration you receive may be different than either of these amounts.

Treatment of North Valley Stock Options

Immediately prior to the effective time of the merger, each outstanding option to purchase shares of North Valley common stock, whether or not then vested and whether or not then exercisable, will be cancelled and the holder of the option will be entitled to receive, subject to any required tax withholding, an amount in cash, without interest, from North Valley equal to the product of (x) the total number of shares of North Valley common stock subject to the option times (y) the excess, if any, of the product of 0.9433 multiplied by the weighted average of the closing prices for shares of TriCo common stock as quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market for the 20 consecutive trading days ending on the trading day immediately before the closing date over the exercise price per share under such option. As consideration for the cancellation of out-of-the-money options, the holders (other than directors and executive officers) will be entitled to receive $500.00 for each outstanding option held. The North Valley board of directors has the right to amend all option plans and agreements governing all outstanding options to purchase shares of North Valley common stock to make them fully vested and exercisable before the closing date to permit the option holders to exercise their options before the date on which the options otherwise would terminate.

Background of the Merger

Each of TriCo’s and North Valley’s board of directors and management regularly review their respective business strategies, opportunities and challenges as part of their consideration and evaluation of their respective long-term prospects, with the goal of enhancing value for their respective shareholders. The strategic considerations have focused on, among other things, the business and regulatory environment facing financial institutions generally and each of TriCo and North Valley, in particular, as well as conditions and ongoing consolidation in the financial services industry. For each company, these reviews have also included periodic discussions with respect to potential transactions that would further its strategic objectives, and the potential benefits and risks of those transactions.

TriCo has considered acquisitions as a means of achieving growth and expanding its market. Consistent with this strategy, on May 28, 2010, TriCo acquired $100.3 million in assets and assumed $95.0 million of deposits of Granite Community Bank, N.A. in Granite Bay, California under a purchase and assumption agreement with the FDIC. On September 23, 2011, TriCo acquired $270.4 million in assets and assumed $239.9 million of deposits of Citizens Bank of Northern California under a purchase and assumption agreement with the FDIC.

In the normal course of its business, North Valley has from time to time received unsolicited verbal inquiries from various sources regarding possible interest in a business combination transaction. The general policy of the board of directors has been to not respond to these unsolicited verbal inquiries unless confirmed in writing from a credible source. At the same time, in the context of its annual budgeting and planning process, the board of directors has periodically discussed and evaluated strategic planning alternatives and whether they would be in the best interests of shareholders. Discussions have included the possibility of making acquisitions and whether to remain independent or to consider a combination with some other financial institution. Discussion of these topics has typically involved a review of current and projected market conditions, the results of operations of North Valley and North Valley Bank, certain peer group performance comparisons, reported merger and acquisition activity, and selected industry information and analysis provided to the board of directors by its financial advisors.

At the annual retreat of the board of directors, held on September 28, 2012, in connection with consideration of the Strategic Plan and 2013 Budget for North Valley, the board of directors discussed and evaluated various strategic planning alternatives and whether they would be in the best interests of shareholders. The board discussions were principally focused on the highly competitive banking market in which North Valley currently operates (competition for deposits and loans, in particular), the current level of new bank formations and bank mergers in northern California, and the current and projected interest rate environment for commercial banks. These discussions also examined the importance of operational scale and financial resources in the current banking environment. North Valley’s board of directors took notice of the possibility that a business combination with a larger financial institution, having more resources, higher lending limits, a more geographically diversified customer

 

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base and product offerings, and with more liquidity in its common stock, could produce a stronger financial institution and increase value for North Valley’s shareholders. At the conclusion of the retreat on September 28, 2012, the board of directors instructed executive management to keep the board informed regarding the receipt of unsolicited inquiries from representatives of other financial institutions that might express interest in a possible business combination with North Valley, without making any change in the board’s general position that North Valley should remain independent.

In November 2012, North Valley was approached on an unsolicited informal basis by a bank holding company we refer to as “Company A” expressing preliminary interest in discussing a business combination transaction with North Valley. This verbal inquiry was reported to the chairman of the board of directors, who kept the board of directors informed. The board of directors did not authorize executive management to make any written response to this verbal inquiry.

At a meeting of the North Valley board of directors held on November 29, 2012, the board of directors continued its discussion on the subject of strategic planning alternatives and the current banking environment with executive management. Representatives of Sandler O’Neill, a nationally recognized investment banking firm whose principal business specialty is representing financial institutions, attended this meeting. From time to time over the years, Sandler O’Neill has consulted with North Valley’s board of directors and executive management regarding strategic planning alternatives, securities portfolio management and other corporate matters. These discussions carried over to a meeting of the board of directors held on December 20, 2012. At these board meetings, Sandler O’Neill discussed West Coast bank merger and acquisition activity and the potential strengths and weaknesses of various financial institutions that recently or in the past had completed business combination transactions. At this meeting, the board of directors determined that it would be in the best interests of the shareholders of North Valley to investigate, on a confidential and preliminary basis, the viability of a possible combination with certain of those financial institutions and the board of directors identified a number of financial institutions (including Company A and TriCo) that could be contacted for the purpose of confirming any interest in proceeding with an exchange of financial information under the terms of a confidentiality agreement. Sandler O’Neill was authorized to contact each of those institutions on behalf of North Valley and North Valley’s legal counsel prepared a form of confidentiality agreement for that purpose. Sandler O’Neill was instructed to report back to the board of directors regarding the results of its investigations at the monthly meetings of the board, at which time North Valley’s executive management, legal counsel and Sandler O’Neill would be asked to discuss the results of the contacts made with the designated institutions.

On January 7, 2013, TriCo signed a confidentiality agreement with North Valley. Thereafter, TriCo’s chief executive officer gave the TriCo board monthly updates regarding the discussions with North Valley.

On January 8, 2013, a bank holding company we refer to as “Company B” signed a confidentiality agreement with North Valley and was provided financial information. Thereafter, Company B indicated interest in discussing a potential business combination transaction with North Valley. On March 19, 2013, the North Valley chief executive officer and chief financial officer, along with a representative of Sandler O’Neill, held a meeting with the chief executive officer of Company B. Selected information was shared and discussed between the parties. A formal letter of interest from Company B never materialized.

On January 10, 2013, Company A signed a confidentiality agreement with North Valley and on March 4, 2013, the North Valley chief executive officer and chief financial officer, along with representatives of Sandler O’Neill, held a meeting with the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Company A. A formal letter of interest from Company A never materialized.

On February 20, 2013, the North Valley chief executive officer and chief financial officer, along with a representative of Sandler O’Neill, met informally with the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of TriCo. A tentative procedure for exchanging additional due diligence information was discussed.

Sandler O’Neill attended meetings of the North Valley board of directors held on January 31, 2013, February 28, 2013 and March 28, 2013, and reported on the status of its contacts with various financial institutions. During this three-month period, seven of the financial institutions approached by Sandler O’Neill (including Company A, Company B and TriCo) executed a confidentiality agreement with North Valley and were provided with a package of selected information on the financial condition and results of operations of North Valley.

 

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At a meeting of the board of directors held on April 25, 2013, Sandler O’Neill reported further on the status of its contacts with various financial institutions, including the institutions that had signed confidentiality agreements and were provided with selected financial information. At that time, no institution had yet provided a formal indication of interest in a potential combination with North Valley. As regards TriCo, Sandler O’Neill and executive management discussed with the board of directors their belief that the potential benefits to be derived from a combination with North Valley were still under consideration by TriCo and its advisors but that no conclusions or decisions had been reached about whether or not to proceed. Sandler O’Neill also updated the board on the status of merger and acquisition activity among financial institutions on the West Coast. During the month of May 2013, there were no material developments.

During the months of June and July, 2013, North Valley was approached on an unsolicited informal basis by an additional financial institution we refer to as “Company C” expressing preliminary interest in discussing a business combination. On June 14, 2013, under the standing authority previously granted by the board of directors, North Valley executed mutual confidentiality agreements with Company C. The North Valley chief executive officer and chief financial officer met with their counterparts at Company C and information was exchanged. Contacts with Company C and with TriCo were reported at the meetings of board of directors held on July 25, 2013 and August 22, 2013.

On September 18, 2013, the North Valley board of directors held a special meeting to review and discuss a letter received on September 10, 2013 from Company C, and a letter received from TriCo on September 13, 2013, both letters expressing interest in proceeding with discussions about a possible business combination with North Valley. Both of these financial institutions had been provided selected financial information under the terms of confidentiality agreements. Sandler O’Neill attended the meeting and reviewed with the board of directors the potential consideration represented by each expression of interest letter. After discussion, the board of directors decided to seek clarification of certain points addressed in the letters and instructed Sandler O’Neill to contact both financial institutions for this purpose.

On September 25, 2013, the North Valley board of directors held a special meeting (at the annual North Valley retreat) to continue the board’s discussion of the two expression of interest letters, including a supplemental letter submitted by TriCo dated September 24, 2013 and a revised expression of interest letter dated September 24, 2013 from Company C. At this meeting, Sandler O’Neill reviewed with the board of directors the financial condition and results of operations of these financial institutions, together with various considerations in evaluating whether to pursue a potential business combination. Following further evaluation of the expression of interest letters, North Valley’s board of directors determined that it would be in the best interests of North Valley and its shareholders to pursue further due diligence with TriCo before proceeding further with Company C. Accordingly, the board of directors authorized Sandler O’Neill and executive management to contact TriCo and facilitate a continuation of TriCo’s due diligence investigation of North Valley and, at the same time, the North Valley board of directors authorized and directed executive management and legal counsel to commence a more in-depth due diligence investigation of TriCo. Also, as directed by the board of directors, executive management advised Company C of the board’s decision.

On September 30, 2013, the executive management, represented by the chief executive officer, the chief financial officer and the general counsel of North Valley, accompanied by a representative of Sandler O’Neill, attended a meeting with the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer of TriCo, accompanied by representatives of KBW, financial advisor to TriCo. The parties attending this meeting discussed a process for proceeding with further mutual due diligence investigations and a tentative timetable for same.

During the month of October, 2013, a due diligence team representing TriCo visited Redding, California, and conducted an on-site review of North Valley and North Valley Bank. TriCo also conducted additional due diligence investigation of North Valley materials provided to TriCo and its legal counsel. Following its due diligence investigation of North Valley, TriCo representatives expressed continuing interest in a transaction with North Valley.

 

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On October 17, 2013, the board of directors of North Valley held a meeting to discuss the status and results to date of the due diligence process authorized by the board of directors on September 25, 2013. The board of directors authorized executive management to continue with its due diligence investigation of TriCo and to continue its discussions with TriCo representatives in order to explore the potential terms and conditions of a proposed business combination. Thereafter, during October and November, 2013, a North Valley due diligence team conducted an on-site due diligence investigation of TriCo and its subsidiaries, in Chico, California. At the same time, management and legal counsel reviewed and analyzed the various diligence materials posted by TriCo on a confidential restricted access website established for that purpose.

On December 6, 2013, legal counsel to TriCo provided the North Valley management with a first draft of a proposed merger agreement. On December 13, 2013, after review of the draft with legal counsel, North Valley responded with comments and questions, and legal counsel to TriCo provided North Valley with a revised draft of the proposed merger agreement on December 18, 2013.

On December 19, 2013, the North Valley board of directors held a meeting to further consider the status and results of the due diligence reviews being conducted by TriCo and North Valley and to review the revised draft of a proposed merger agreement. The board of directors discussed the terms and conditions represented by the draft with its executive management, legal counsel and Sandler O’Neill at the meeting. After a review of possible alternative provisions, the board of directors directed its legal counsel and Sandler O’Neill, in coordination with its executive management, to pursue negotiations for changes in the draft merger agreement, subject to further review by the board of directors. Also, the board of directors authorized, ratified and approved the execution and delivery of a formal engagement letter between North Valley and Sandler O’Neill, in the form previously presented to the board of directors.

Thereafter, North Valley management and legal counsel prepared a redlined response to the revised draft of the merger agreement received on December 18, 2013 and North Valley’s legal counsel delivered the response to TriCo and its legal counsel on December 26, 2013. On December 27, 2013, legal counsel for TriCo and legal counsel for North Valley discussed the response and identified the remaining points of negotiation.

On January 6, 2014, the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer of North Valley, accompanied by a representative of Sandler O’Neill, met with the chief executive officer and the chief financial officer of TriCo, accompanied by representatives of KBW. The parties discussed the financial performance of their respective institutions for the year just ended, the appropriate assumptions on which to prepare pro forma combined financial statements, and the impact of such matters on the financial terms of the proposed merger agreement. On January 7, 2014, legal counsel to TriCo provided North Valley with a new, further revised draft of the merger agreement.

On January 9, 2014, the North Valley board of directors held a meeting with its legal counsel and Sandler O’Neill in attendance and discussed the status of negotiations with TriCo and the changes proposed in the January 7, 2014 draft of the proposed merger agreement, in particular a proposed change in the stock exchange ratio. The board of directors determined that the latest draft of the proposed merger agreement required further changes and directed executive management, Sandler O’Neill and its legal counsel to continue negotiations with TriCo. On January 10, 2014, North Valley received a revised expression of interest letter from TriCo, and on January 14, 2014, North Valley received a further revised draft of the merger agreement from legal counsel to TriCo.

On January 15, 2014, TriCo entered into a formal engagement letter with KBW.

On January 16, 2014, the North Valley board of directors held a meeting to discuss with North Valley’s executive management and legal counsel the latest developments regarding negotiations with TriCo and to review the changes made to the most recent draft merger agreement since the last meeting of the board of directors, including changes reflected in the draft distributed by legal counsel for TriCo on January 14, 2014. The board of directors also reviewed and discussed the proposed exhibits to the draft merger agreement and the regulatory approvals required in connection with the transaction. The board of directors and executive management also discussed the impact of the proposed business combination on the shareholders, customers and employees of North Valley. The board of directors determined that further revisions of the proposed agreements would be appropriate and instructed North Valley legal counsel and executive management to continue negotiations with TriCo. As a result of these negotiations, TriCo’s legal counsel prepared and distributed further revised drafts of the proposed merger agreement, consisting of a draft received by North Valley on January 17, 2014, another draft received on January 19, 2014 and a further draft received on January 20, 2014.

 

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On January 21, 2014, the board of directors of North Valley and North Valley Bank met in a joint special meeting with its executive management, legal counsel and representatives of Sandler O’Neill to review the proposed final form of the merger agreement and exhibits thereto. After extensive review and discussion of the proposed final form of the merger agreement and exhibits, followed by an updated review of the financial results and projections of North Valley and its available strategic planning alternatives and an evaluation of various factors relevant to consummation of the proposed business combination, and based upon the advice of legal counsel and the opinion of Sandler O’Neill that the merger consideration was fair, from a financial point of view, to the holders of North Valley common stock, the directors of North Valley and North Valley Bank voted unanimously to approve the merger agreement and to authorize its execution and delivery to TriCo. In addition, the board of directors of North Valley voted unanimously to authorize and approve the execution and delivery of an Amendment One to the North Valley Bancorp Shareholder Protection Rights Agreement with Computershare, Inc., to provide that neither TriCo nor any of its affiliates will become an “acquiring person,” as that term is defined in the Rights Agreement, solely as a result of the public announcement, execution, delivery, or performance of the merger agreement, shareholder agreements, or the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement. It was understood that the board of directors of TriCo was holding a special meeting that same day to consider, authorize and approve the execution and delivery of the merger agreement with North Valley.

The TriCo board of directors held a meeting on January 21, 2014. Prior to the meeting, the proposed definitive agreement and related materials had been distributed to TriCo’s board of directors for its review. During this meeting, legal counsel made a presentation regarding the definitive merger agreement and other related agreements with North Valley. KBW reviewed the financial aspects of the proposed merger and delivered to the TriCo board of directors an oral opinion, subsequently followed by delivery of its written opinion, dated January 21, 2014, to the effect that the exchange ratio to be used in the proposed merger was fair, from a financial point of view, to TriCo. The legal counsel discussed with the directors the material terms of the definitive agreement, and advised the directors as to their fiduciary duties in connection with considering and voting on the proposed merger. In addition, TriCo’s president and chief executive officer, Richard P. Smith, led TriCo’s board of directors in a discussion of the merits, risks and the strategic reasons for and against the transaction. After a thorough discussion, TriCo’s board of directors unanimously approved the definitive merger agreement and other relevant documents with North Valley.

At the conclusion of the board meetings on January 21, 2014, and pursuant to the resolutions adopted by each of TriCo’s and North Valley’s board of directors, TriCo and North Valley entered into the definitive agreement, dated as of January 21, 2014.

On January 21, 2014, after the close of trading on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, a joint press release announcing the execution of the merger agreement was issued by North Valley and TriCo.

Reasons for the Merger and Recommendation of the North Valley Board of Directors

The North Valley board of directors believes the proposed merger with TriCo is fair and in the best interests of the shareholders, as well as its employees and the communities served by North Valley Bank. In reaching this conclusion, the North Valley board of directors discussed the proposed merger with its senior management and with its financial and legal advisors and considered the relative advantages and disadvantages of remaining independent rather than entering into the merger. The Directors unanimously recommend that North Valley shareholders vote in favor of the merger agreement and consummation of the merger and the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement.

In approving the merger with TriCo, the North Valley board of directors considered a variety of factors, both positive and negative. The primary factors that favor the merger include, but are not limited to, the following:

 

   

Future Prospects. Based on its understanding of the business, operations, financial condition, earnings, management and future prospects of North Valley, and in consultation with its financial advisor, the North Valley board of directors believes that a business combination with TriCo would enable North Valley

 

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shareholders to participate in a combined company that would have enhanced future prospects as compared to those that North Valley is likely to achieve on a stand-alone basis. The board believes that a larger company will provide additional products and services to better grow and retain North Valley’s customers, that the combined, more diversified, customer base will improve and diversify future revenue sources, and that future earnings prospects will be stronger on a combined basis.

 

    Results of Due Diligence. The North Valley board’s understanding of the business, operations, financial condition, earnings, management and future prospects of TriCo, taking into account North Valley’s due diligence investigation of TriCo, including, but not limited to, debt service and other existing financial obligations, the financial obligations to be incurred in connection with the proposed transaction and other likely financial obligations of TriCo and the possible effect of such obligations.

 

    Competition. The current and prospective economic and competitive environment facing the financial services industry generally, including the continued consolidation in the industry and the increased importance of operational scale and financial resources in maintaining efficiency and remaining competitive over the long term.

 

    Complementary Business. The complementary nature of the respective markets, customers and asset/liability mix of North Valley Bank and Tri Counties Bank combined with an opportunity for North Valley customers to access enhanced products or services.

 

    Financial Information. The reports of North Valley’s management to the North Valley board of directors concerning the operations, financial condition and prospects of TriCo and the expected financial impact of the merger on the combined company, including pro forma assets, earnings, deposits and other financial metrics.

 

    Share Value. The value to be received by holders of North Valley common stock pursuant to the merger agreement in relation to the historical trading prices of North Valley common stock, as compared to other similar transactions of a comparable nature in the view of the Board’s financial advisor, as well as the possibility of a more active trading market.

 

    Cash Dividends. TriCo has paid cash dividends on its common stock in every quarter since March 1990. Although there is no assurance that cash dividends will be paid in the future, the stated intention of the TriCo board of directors is to continue the payment of cash dividends on a quarterly basis. Receiving TriCo stock as consideration in the merger, North Valley shareholders would benefit from the anticipated future cash dividends paid by TriCo.

 

    Fairness Opinion. The opinion, dated January 21, 2014, delivered to the North Valley board of directors by Sandler O’Neill that, as of the date of the opinion and based upon and subject to the considerations in its opinion, the merger consideration was fair, from a financial point of view, to holders of North Valley common stock.

 

    Terms of the Merger. The review by the North Valley board of directors with its legal and financial advisors of the structure of the merger and the financial and other terms of the merger agreement, including the exchange ratio and TriCo’s agreement to appoint three (3) members of the North Valley board of directors to the TriCo board of directors and the Tri Counties board of directors.

 

    Approvals. The likelihood of receiving regulatory approvals in a timely fashion without unacceptable conditions and the likelihood that the merger would be completed.

 

    Corporate Values. The belief of the North Valley board of directors that the two companies share a common vision of the importance of customer service and that management and employees of North Valley and TriCo possess complementary skills and expertise.

 

    Indemnification. The agreements of TriCo to provide indemnification for North Valley’s directors and executive officers and to honor certain existing employee benefits.

 

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    Reorganization. The expectation that the merger will constitute a tax-free “reorganization” under Section 368(a) of the Code to North Valley shareholders with respect to the TriCo common stock received by them.

In the course of its deliberations regarding the merger, the North Valley board of directors also considered the following factors and risks, which the Board of Directors determined did not outweigh the expected benefits to North Valley and its shareholders:

 

    Integration Issues. The challenges of combining the businesses, assets and employees of North Valley and TriCo which could affect our post-merger success and the ability to achieve anticipated cost savings and other potential synergies.

 

    Overlapping Market Areas. The branch locations operated by North Valley Bank and Tri Counties Bank overlap in certain market areas and, due to the cost efficiencies made possible by the consolidation of offices in these areas, Tri Counties Bank is not likely to continue all branch locations currently being operated by North Valley Bank, nor is it likely that TriCo and Tri Counties Bank will be able to retain all officers and employees of North Valley Bank after the merger.

 

    Fixed Exchange Ratio. The fixed exchange ratio component of the merger consideration will not adjust to compensate for potential changes in the price of TriCo common stock or North Valley common stock prior to completion of the merger.

 

    Insider Interests. The interests of North Valley executive officers and directors with respect to the merger apart from their interests as holders of North Valley common stock, and the risk that these interests might influence their decision with respect to the merger, as described below in “The Merger — Interests of North Valley Directors and Executive Officers in the Merger.”

 

    Competing Transactions. The risk that the terms of the merger agreement, including provisions relating to the payment of a termination fee under specified circumstances, although required by TriCo as a condition to its willingness to enter into a merger agreement, could have the effect of discouraging other parties that might be interested in a transaction with North Valley from proposing such a transaction.

 

    Operational Restrictions. The restrictions contained in the merger agreement on the operation of North Valley’s business during the period between the signing of the merger agreement and completion of the merger which may delay or prevent North Valley from pursuing business opportunities that could arise before completion of the merger.

 

    Risk of Termination. The possibility that the merger might not be completed and the impact of a public announcement of the termination of the merger agreement on, among other things, the market price of North Valley common stock and North Valley operating results, particularly in light of the costs incurred in connection with the transaction,

 

    Other Risk Factors. The North Valley board of directors also considered other factors described under the section of this joint proxy statement/prospectus entitled “Risk Factors.”

The foregoing discussion of the information and factors considered by the North Valley board of directors is not intended to be exhaustive, but includes the material factors, both positive and negative, considered by the North Valley board of directors. In reaching its decision to approve the merger agreement, the North Valley board of directors did not quantify or assign any relative weights to the factors considered, and individual directors may have given different weights to different factors. The North Valley board of directors considered all these factors as a whole, including discussions with, and questioning of, North Valley’s management team, its legal counsel and financial advisor. The North Valley board of directors determined that overall, the totality of information and factors (positive and negative) considered by the North Valley board of directors, was favorable to, and supported, its determination.

 

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This explanation of North Valley’s reasons for the merger and other information presented in this section is forward-looking in nature and should be read in light of the section entitled “Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements” beginning on page 21 of this joint proxy statement/prospectus.

For the reasons set forth above, the North Valley board of directors has unanimously approved the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby and unanimously recommends that you vote “FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal, “FOR” the North Valley Advisory (Non-Binding) Proposal on Specified Compensation and “FOR” the North Valley Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate).

Each of the directors of North Valley has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed to vote “FOR” the North Valley Merger proposal and “FOR” the North Valley Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate). For more information regarding the shareholder agreements, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96.

Opinion of North Valley’s Financial Advisor

By letter dated December 3, 2012, Sandler O’Neill agreed to act as financial advisor to the North Valley board of directors in connection with the board’s consideration of strategic alternatives, such as a possible business combination involving North Valley and a second party, such as another bank or bank holding company, or remaining independent. These services were formalized on December 19, 2013, at which time North Valley countersigned the Sandler O’Neill engagement letter. Sandler O’Neill is a nationally recognized investment banking firm whose principal business specialty is financial institutions, and was selected by North Valley for this reason. In the ordinary course of its investment banking business, Sandler O’Neill, as part of its investment banking business, is regularly engaged in the valuation of financial institutions and their securities in connection with mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions.

Sandler O’Neill acted as financial advisor to North Valley’s board of directors in connection with the proposed transaction with TriCo and participated in certain of the negotiations leading to the execution of the merger agreement. At the January 21, 2014 meeting at which North Valley’s board of directors considered and approved the merger agreement, Sandler O’Neill delivered to the board its oral opinion, which was subsequently followed up in writing, that, as of such date, the merger consideration (defined as the exchange ratio of 0.9433 shares of TriCo common stock) was fair to the holders of North Valley’s common stock from a financial point of view. The full text of Sandler O’Neill’s opinion is attached as Appendix B to this joint proxy statement/prospectus. The opinion outlines the procedures followed, assumptions made, matters considered and qualifications and limitations on the review undertaken by Sandler O’Neill in rendering its opinion. The description of the opinion set forth below is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of the opinion. Holders of North Valley common stock are urged to read the entire opinion carefully in connection with their consideration of the proposed merger.

Sandler O’Neill’s opinion speaks only as of the date of the opinion. The opinion was directed to North Valley’s board in connection with its consideration of the merger and is directed only to the fairness of the merger consideration to the holders of North Valley’s common stock from a financial point of view. It does not address the underlying business decision of North Valley to engage in the merger, the relative merits of the merger as compared to any other alternative business strategies that might exist for North Valley or the effect of any transaction in which North Valley might engage and does not constitute a recommendation to any holder of North Valley common stock as to how such holder of North Valley common stock should vote at the special meeting with respect to the merger or any other matter.

In connection with its opinion, Sandler O’Neill reviewed, among other things:

 

    the merger agreement

 

    certain publicly available financial statements and other historical financial information of North Valley that Sandler O’Neill deemed relevant

 

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    certain publicly available financial statements and other historical financial information of TriCo that Sandler O’Neill deemed relevant

 

    the mean publicly available analyst earnings per share estimate for North Valley for the years ending December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2014 and an internal long-term growth rate for the years thereafter as provided by senior management of North Valley

 

    the mean publicly available analyst earnings per share estimate for TriCo for the years ending December 31, 2013 through December 31, 2015 and an internal long-term growth rate for the years thereafter provided by senior management of TriCo

 

    the pro forma financial impact of the merger on TriCo based on assumptions relating to transaction expenses, purchase accounting adjustments, cost savings and other synergies as determined by the senior management of TriCo

 

    a comparison of certain stock trading, financial and other information for North Valley and TriCo with similar publicly available information for certain other commercial banks, the securities of which are publicly traded

 

    the terms and structures of other recent mergers and acquisition transactions, including merger of equal transactions, in the commercial banking sector

 

    the current market environment generally and in the commercial banking sector in particular and

 

    such other information, financial studies, analyses and investigations and financial, economic and market criteria as Sandler O’Neill considered relevant.

Sandler O’Neill also discussed with certain members of the senior management of North Valley the business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects of North Valley and held similar discussions with the senior management of TriCo regarding the business, financial condition, results of operations and prospects of TriCo.

In performing its review, Sandler O’Neill relied upon the accuracy and completeness of all of the financial and other information that was available to Sandler O’Neill from public sources, that was provided to Sandler O’Neill by North Valley and TriCo or that was otherwise reviewed by Sandler O’Neill and Sandler O’Neill assumed such accuracy and completeness for purposes of preparing its opinion. Sandler O’Neill further relied on the assurances of the senior management of North Valley and TriCo that they were not aware of any facts or circumstances that would make any of such information inaccurate or misleading in any material respect. Sandler O’Neill did not make an independent evaluation or appraisal of the specific assets, the collateral securing assets or the liabilities (contingent or otherwise) of North Valley or TriCo or any of their respective subsidiaries. Sandler O’Neill did not make an independent evaluation of the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses of North Valley, TriCo or the combined entity after the merger and Sandler O’Neill did not review any individual credit files relating to North Valley or TriCo. Sandler O’Neill assumed, with North Valley’s consent, that the respective allowances for loan losses for both North Valley and TriCo are adequate to cover such losses and will be adequate on a pro forma basis for the combined entity.

In preparing its analyses, Sandler O’Neill used publicly available earnings per share estimates and internal long-term growth rates for North Valley and TriCo. Sandler O’Neill also received and used in its analyses certain projections of transaction costs, purchase accounting adjustments, expected cost savings and other synergies which were prepared by and/or reviewed with the senior management of TriCo. With respect to these estimates and projections, the respective senior managements of North Valley and TriCo confirmed to Sandler O’Neill that those projections reflected the estimates and judgments of those respective managements of the future performance of North Valley and TriCo, respectively, and Sandler O’Neill assumed that such performance would be achieved. Sandler O’Neill expresses no opinion as to such estimates or the assumptions on which they are based. Sandler O’Neill has assumed that there has been no material change in the respective assets, financial condition, results of operations, business or prospects of North Valley and TriCo since the date of the most recent financial data made available to Sandler O’Neill, as of the date of its opinion. Sandler O’Neill has also assumed in all respects material to its analysis that North Valley and TriCo would remain as a going concern for all the periods relevant to its analyses and that the merger will be consummated as a tax-free reorganization under Section 368 of the Internal Revenue Code. Sandler O’Neill expresses no opinion as to any of the legal, accounting and tax matters relating to the merger and any other transactions contemplated in connection therewith.

 

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Sandler O’Neill’s analyses and opinion were necessarily based on financial, economic, regulatory, market and other conditions as in effect on, and the information made available to Sandler O’Neill as of, the date of its opinion. Events occurring after the date thereof could materially affect its opinion. Sandler O’Neill has not undertaken to update, revise, reaffirm or withdraw its opinion or otherwise comment upon events occurring after the date of its opinion. Sandler O’Neill rendered no opinion as to the trading values of each of North Valley’s and TriCo’s common shares at any time. Sandler O’Neill’s opinion was approved by Sandler O’Neill’s fairness opinion committee. Sandler O’Neill did not express any opinion as to the fairness of the amount or nature of the compensation to be received in the merger by North Valley’s officers, directors, or employees, or class of such persons, relative to the compensation to be received in the merger by any other shareholders of North Valley.

In rendering its January 21, 2014 opinion, Sandler O’Neill performed a variety of financial analyses. The following is a summary of the material analyses performed by Sandler O’Neill, but is not a complete description of all the analyses underlying Sandler O’Neill’s opinion. The summary includes information presented in tabular format. In order to fully understand the financial analyses, these tables must be read together with the accompanying text. The tables alone do not constitute a complete description of the financial analyses. The preparation of a fairness opinion is a complex process involving subjective judgments as to the most appropriate and relevant methods of financial analysis and the application of those methods to the particular circumstances. The process, therefore, is not necessarily susceptible to a partial analysis or summary description. Sandler O’Neill believes that its analyses must be considered as a whole and that selecting portions of the factors and analyses to be considered without considering all factors and analyses, or attempting to ascribe relative weights to some or all such factors and analyses, could create an incomplete view of the evaluation process underlying its opinion. Also, no company included in Sandler O’Neill’s comparative analyses described below is identical to North Valley or TriCo and no transaction is identical to the merger. Accordingly, an analysis of comparable companies or transactions involves complex considerations and judgments concerning differences in financial and operating characteristics of the companies and other factors that could affect the public trading values or merger transaction values, as the case may be, of North Valley and TriCo and the companies to which they are being compared.

In performing its analyses, Sandler O’Neill also made numerous assumptions with respect to industry performance, business and economic conditions and various other matters, many of which cannot be predicted and are beyond the control of North Valley, TriCo and Sandler O’Neill. The analyses performed by Sandler O’Neill is not necessarily indicative of actual values or future results, both of which may be significantly more or less favorable than suggested by such analyses. Sandler O’Neill prepared its analyses solely for purposes of rendering its opinion and provided such analyses to the North Valley board of directors at the board of directors’ January 21, 2014 meeting. Estimates on the values of companies do not purport to be appraisals or necessarily reflect the prices at which companies or their securities may actually be sold. Such estimates are inherently subject to uncertainty and actual values may be materially different. Accordingly, Sandler O’Neill’s analyses do not necessarily reflect the value of North Valley’s common stock or the prices at which North Valley’s common stock may be sold at any time. The analyses of Sandler O’Neill and its opinion were among a number of factors taken into consideration by North Valley’s board of directors in making its determination to approve of North Valley’s entry into the merger agreement and the analyses described below should not be viewed as determinative of the decision made by North Valley’s board of directors or management with respect to the fairness of the merger. The exchange ratio was determined through negotiation between North Valley and TriCo and the decision to enter into the merger agreement was solely that of the North Valley board of directors.

In arriving at its opinion Sandler O’Neill did not attribute any particular weight to any analysis or factor that it considered. Rather it made qualitative judgments as to the significance and relevance of each analysis and factor. Sandler O’Neill did not form an opinion as to whether any individual analysis or factor (positive or negative) considered in isolation supported or failed to support its opinions; rather Sandler O’Neill made its determination as to the fairness of the merger consideration on the basis of its experience and professional judgment after considering the results of all its analyses taken as a whole.

Summary of Proposal

Sandler O’Neill reviewed the financial terms of the proposed transaction. As described in the merger agreement, North Valley shareholders have the right to receive consideration consisting of 0.9433 shares of TriCo

 

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common stock in exchange for each share of North Valley common stock. Based upon TriCo’s closing stock price of $27.66 as of January 17, 2014, Sandler O’Neill calculated merger consideration value of $26.09 per North Valley share. Based upon 6,836,632 common shares outstanding, 128,829 in-the-money options outstanding with a weighted-average strike price of $14.99 and using TriCo’s closing stock price of $27.66 as of January 17, 2014, Sandler O’Neill calculated aggregate consideration value of $182 million. Based upon financial information of North Valley as of or for the twelve month period ended September 30, 2013, Sandler O’Neill calculated the following transaction ratios:

 

     North
Valley/
TriCo
 

Transaction Value / Last Twelve Months’ Earnings Per Share

     55.5x   

Transaction Value / Mean Consensus Analyst Estimated 2014 Earnings Per Share

     25.6x   

Transaction Value / Book Value Per Share

     188

Transaction Value / Tangible Book Value Per Share

     188

Tangible Book Premium to Core Deposits

     12.3

Premium to North Valley Stock Price (January 17, 2014)

     36.8

North Valley - Comparable Company Analysis

Sandler O’Neill used publicly available information to compare selected financial information for North Valley and a group of financial institutions as selected by Sandler O’Neill. The North Valley comparable group consisted of publicly-traded Northern and Central California commercial banks with total assets between $500 million and $1.5 billion. The group excluded thrifts, merger targets and ethnic-focused commercial banks.

 

American River Bankshares    Heritage Commerce Corp
Bank of Commerce Holdings    Heritage Oaks Bancorp
Bank of Marin Bancorp    Oak Valley Bancorp
Bridge Capital Holdings    Premier Valley Bank
Central Valley Community Bancorp    Sierra Bancorp
First Northern Community Bancorp    United Security Bancshares

The analysis compared publicly available financial information for North Valley and the financial and market trading data for the comparable group. The comparable group data is as of or for the period ended September 30, 2013. Pricing data for all companies is as of January 17, 2014. The table below sets forth the data for North Valley and the mean and median data for the comparable group.

 

     North
Valley
    Comparable
Group
Mean
    Comparable
Group
Median
 

Total Assets (in millions)

   $ 912      $ 1,024      $ 1,012   

Market Capitalization (in millions)

   $ 130      $ 150      $ 109   

Dividend Yield

     0.00     1.20     1.32

Price / Book Value

     137     126     113

Price / Tangible Book Value

     137     136     138

Price / Last Twelve Months’ Earnings Per Share

     40.6x        17.6x        15.6x   

 

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Price / Mean Consensus Analyst Estimated 2014 Earnings Per Share

     18.7x        17.8x        17.9x   

Last Twelve Months’ Net Interest Margin

     3.83     4.00     3.96

Last Twelve Months’ Efficiency Ratio

     81     66     68

Last Twelve Months’ Return on Average Assets

     0.36     0.88     0.85

Last Twelve Months’ Return on Average Equity

     3.4     7.5     7.4

Tangible Common Equity / Tangible Assets

     10.4     10.1     10.0

Tier 1 Leverage Ratio

     12.2     11.1     11.0

Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio

     18.6     16.6     15.5

Non-Performing Assets / Total Assets

     2.47     2.46     1.79

TriCo - Comparable Company Analysis

Sandler O’Neill used publicly available information to compare selected financial information for TriCo and a group of financial institutions as selected by Sandler O’Neill. The TriCo comparable group consisted of NASDAQ or NYSE-traded western region commercial banks with total assets between $1.25 billion and $8.0 billion. The group excluded thrifts, merger targets and ethnic-focused commercial banks.

 

Bank of Marin Bancorp    First Interstate BancSystem, Inc.
Banner Corporation    Heritage Commerce Corp
Bridge Capital Holdings    Heritage Financial Corporation
Cascade Bancorp    Pacific Continental Corporation
Central Pacific Financial Corp.    Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc.
Columbia Banking System, Inc.    PacWest Bancorp

CU Bancorp

   Sierra Bancorp

CVB Financial Corp.

   Westamerica Bancorporation

The analysis compared publicly available financial information for TriCo and the financial and market trading data for the comparable group. The peer group data is as of or for the period ended September 30, 2013, with the exception of Westamerica Bancorp whose data is as of or for the period ending December 31, 2013. Pricing data for all companies is as of January 17, 2014. The table below sets forth the data for TriCo and the mean and median data for the comparable group.

 

     TriCo     Comparable
Group
Mean
    Comparable
Group
Median
 

Total Assets (in millions)

   $ 2,632      $ 3,431      $ 1,622   

Market Capitalization (in millions)

   $ 445      $ 730      $ 304   

Dividend Yield

     1.59     1.47     1.66

Price / Book Value

     181     165     149

Price / Tangible Book Value

     194     191     167

Price / Last Twelve Months’ Earnings Per Share

     16.7x        21.2x        21.6x   

Price / Mean Consensus Analyst Estimated 2014 Earnings Per Share

     16.3x        18.1x        18.0x   

 

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Price / Estimated 2015 Earnings Per Share

     15.1x        15.7x        14.9x   

Last Twelve Months’ Net Interest Margin

     4.17     4.24     4.11

Last Twelve Months’ Efficiency Ratio

     66     65     63

Last Twelve Months’ Return on Average Assets

     1.04     0.99     0.96

Last Twelve Months’ Return on Average Equity

     11.3     8.4     8.0

Tangible Common Equity / Tangible Assets

     8.8     10.7     10.8

Tier 1 Leverage Ratio

     10.4     11.3     11.3

Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio

     14.9     16.4     16.3

Non-Performing Assets / Total Assets

     3.82     1.87     1.78

North Valley - Stock Price Performance

Sandler O’Neill reviewed the history of the publicly reported trading prices of North Valley’s common stock for the one-year and three-year periods ended January 17, 2014. Sandler O’Neill then compared the relationship between the movements in the price of North Valley’s common stock against the movements in the prices of the comparable group for North Valley described above, the S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ Bank Index.

One-Year Comparative Stock Performance

 

     Beginning Index Value     Ending Index Value  
     January 17, 2013     January 17, 2014  

North Valley

     100     119

North Valley Comparable Group

     100     126

S&P 500

     100     124

NASDAQ Bank

     100     131

Three-Year Comparative Stock Performance

 

     Beginning Index Value     Ending Index Value  
     January 18, 2011     January 17, 2014  

North Valley

     100     224

North Valley Comparable Group

     100     168

S&P 500

     100     142

NASDAQ Bank

     100     135

TriCo - Stock Price Performance

Sandler O’Neill reviewed the history of the publicly reported trading prices of TriCo’s common stock for the one-year and three-year periods ended January 17, 2014. Sandler O’Neill then compared the relationship between the movements in the price of TriCo’s common stock against the movements in the prices of the comparable group, for TriCo described above, the S&P 500 Index and the NASDAQ Bank Index.

 

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One-Year Comparative Stock Performance

 

     Beginning Index Value     Ending Index Value  
     January 17, 2013     January 17, 2014  

TriCo

     100     165

TriCo Comparable Group

     100     137

S&P 500

     100     124

NASDAQ Bank

     100     131

Three-Year Comparative Stock Performance

 

     Beginning Index Value     Ending Index Value  
     January 18, 2011     January 17, 2014  

TriCo

     100     175

TriCo Comparable Group

     100     133

S&P 500

     100     142

NASDAQ Bank

     100     135

North Valley - Net Present Value Analysis

Sandler O’Neill performed an analysis that estimated the net present value per share of North Valley common stock under various circumstances. The analysis assumed that North Valley performed in accordance with the publicly available analyst estimated earnings for the years ending December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2014 and an internal long-term growth rate for the years thereafter as provided by senior management of North Valley.

To approximate the terminal value of North Valley common stock at December 31, 2018, Sandler O’Neill applied price to earnings multiples ranging from 11.0x to 20.0x and multiples of tangible book value ranging from 100% to 200%. The terminal values were then discounted to present values using different discount rates ranging from 10.0% to 16.0%.

As illustrated in the following tables, the analysis indicates an imputed range of values per share of North Valley common stock of $6.48 to $15.36 when applying multiples of earnings and $9.44 to $24.62 when applying multiples of tangible book value.

 

Discount Rate

   Earnings Per Share Multiples  
   11.0x      13.0x      15.0x      17.0x      19.0x      20.0x  

10.00%

   $ 8.45       $ 9.99       $ 11.52       $ 13.06       $ 14.59       $ 15.36   

11.00%

   $ 8.08       $ 9.54       $ 11.01       $ 12.48       $ 13.95       $ 14.68   

12.00%

   $ 7.72       $ 9.13       $ 10.53       $ 11.93       $ 13.34       $ 14.04   

13.00%

   $ 7.39       $ 8.73       $ 10.07       $ 11.41       $ 12.76       $ 13.43   

14.00%

   $ 7.07       $ 8.35       $ 9.64       $ 10.92       $ 12.21       $ 12.85   

15.00%

   $ 6.77       $ 8.00       $ 9.23       $ 10.46       $ 11.69       $ 12.30   

16.00%

   $ 6.48       $ 7.66       $ 8.83       $ 10.01       $ 11.19       $ 11.78   

 

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Discount Rate

   Tangible Book Value Multiples  
   100%      120%      140%      160%      180%      200%  

10.00%

   $ 12.31       $ 14.77       $ 17.23       $ 19.70       $ 22.16       $ 24.62   

11.00%

   $ 11.76       $ 14.12       $ 16.47       $ 18.82       $ 21.18       $ 23.53   

12.00%

   $ 11.25       $ 13.50       $ 15.75       $ 18.00       $ 20.25       $ 22.50   

13.00%

   $ 10.76       $ 12.91       $ 15.06       $ 17.22       $ 19.37       $ 21.52   

14.00%

   $ 10.30       $ 12.36       $ 14.41       $ 16.47       $ 18.53       $ 20.59   

15.00%

   $ 9.86       $ 11.83       $ 13.80       $ 15.77       $ 17.74       $ 19.71   

16.00%

   $ 9.44       $ 11.33       $ 13.21       $ 15.10       $ 16.99       $ 18.88   

Sandler O’Neill also considered and discussed with the North Valley board of directors how this analysis would be affected by changes in the underlying assumptions, including variations with respect to net income. To illustrate this impact, Sandler O’Neill performed a similar analysis assuming North Valley net income varied from 25% higher to 25% lower. This analysis resulted in the following range of per share values for North Valley common stock, using the same price to earnings multiples of 11.0x to 20.0x and a discount rate of 13.0% (which represents the midpoint of the range of discount rates used).

 

Annual Budget Variance

   Earnings Per Share Multiples  
   11.0x      13.0x      15.0x      17.0x      19.0x      20.0x  

-25.0%

   $ 5.54       $ 6.55       $ 7.55       $ 8.56       $ 9.57       $ 10.07   

-20.0%

   $ 5.91       $ 6.98       $ 8.06       $ 9.13       $ 10.21       $ 10.74   

-15.0%

   $ 6.28       $ 7.42       $ 8.56       $ 9.70       $ 10.84       $ 11.41   

-10.0%

   $ 6.65       $ 7.86       $ 9.06       $ 10.27       $ 11.48       $ 12.09   

-5.0%

   $ 7.02       $ 8.29       $ 9.57       $ 10.84       $ 12.12       $ 12.76   

0.0%

   $ 7.39       $ 8.73       $ 10.07       $ 11.41       $ 12.76       $ 13.43   

5.0%

   $ 7.76       $ 9.17       $ 10.58       $ 11.99       $ 13.40       $ 14.10   

10.0%

   $ 8.12       $ 9.60       $ 11.08       $ 12.56       $ 14.03       $ 14.77   

15.0%

   $ 8.49       $ 10.04       $ 11.58       $ 13.13       $ 14.67       $ 15.44   

20.0%

   $ 8.86       $ 10.47       $ 12.09       $ 13.70       $ 15.31       $ 16.11   

25.0%

   $ 9.23       $ 10.91       $ 12.59       $ 14.27       $ 15.95       $ 16.79   

During the North Valley board of directors’ meeting on January 21, 2014, Sandler O’Neill noted that the terminal value analysis is a widely used valuation methodology, but the results of such methodology are highly dependent upon the numerous assumptions that must be made, and the results thereof are not necessarily indicative of actual values or future results.

TriCo – Net Present Value Analysis

Sandler O’Neill also performed an analysis that estimated the net present value per share of TriCo common stock under various circumstances. The analysis assumed that TriCo performed in accordance with publicly available analyst earnings estimates for the years ending December 31, 2013 through December 31, 2015 and an internal long-term growth rate for the years thereafter as provided by senior management of TriCo.

To approximate the terminal value of TriCo common stock at December 31, 2018, Sandler O’Neill applied price to earnings multiples ranging from 12.0x to 24.0x and multiples of tangible book value ranging from 135% to 325%. The terminal values were then discounted to present values using different discount rates ranging from 10.0% to 16.0%.

 

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As illustrated in the following tables, the analysis indicates an imputed range of values per share of TriCo common stock of $13.81 to $33.54 when applying multiples of earnings and $15.79 to $46.02 when applying multiples of tangible book value.

 

Discount Rate

   Earnings Per Share Multiples  
   12.0x      15.0x      17.0x      19.0x      21.0x      24.0x  

10.00%

   $ 17.77       $ 21.71       $ 24.34       $ 26.97       $ 29.60       $ 33.54   

11.00%

   $ 17.02       $ 20.79       $ 23.30       $ 25.81       $ 28.32       $ 32.09   

12.00%

   $ 16.31       $ 19.91       $ 22.31       $ 24.71       $ 27.12       $ 30.72   

13.00%

   $ 15.63       $ 19.08       $ 21.38       $ 23.67       $ 25.97       $ 29.42   

14.00%

   $ 14.99       $ 18.29       $ 20.49       $ 22.69       $ 24.89       $ 28.18   

15.00%

   $ 14.39       $ 17.54       $ 19.65       $ 21.75       $ 23.85       $ 27.01   

16.00%

   $ 13.81       $ 16.83       $ 18.85       $ 20.86       $ 22.88       $ 25.90   

 

Discount Rate

   Tangible Book Value Multiples  
   135%      165%      205%      245%      285%      325%  

10.00%

   $ 20.34       $ 24.40       $ 29.80       $ 35.21       $ 40.61       $ 46.02   

11.00%

   $ 19.48       $ 23.35       $ 28.52       $ 33.69       $ 38.86       $ 44.02   

12.00%

   $ 18.66       $ 22.37       $ 27.31       $ 32.25       $ 37.19       $ 42.13   

13.00%

   $ 17.89       $ 21.43       $ 26.16       $ 30.88       $ 35.61       $ 40.33   

14.00%

   $ 17.15       $ 20.54       $ 25.06       $ 29.59       $ 34.11       $ 38.63   

15.00%

   $ 16.45       $ 19.70       $ 24.03       $ 28.35       $ 32.68       $ 37.01   

16.00%

   $ 15.79       $ 18.90       $ 23.04       $ 27.19       $ 31.33       $ 35.48   

Sandler O’Neill also considered and discussed with the North Valley board of directors how this analysis would be affected by changes in the underlying assumptions, including variations with respect to net income. To illustrate this impact, Sandler O’Neill performed a similar analysis assuming TriCo net income varied from 25% higher to 25% lower. This analysis resulted in the following range of per share values for TriCo common stock, using the same price to earnings multiples of 12.0x to 24.0x and a discount rate of 13.0% (which represents the midpoint of the range of discount rates used):

 

Annual Budget Variance

   Earnings Per Share Multiples  
   12.0x      15.0x      17.0x      19.0x      21.0x      24.0x  

-25.0%

   $ 12.19       $ 14.77       $ 16.50       $ 18.22       $ 19.94       $ 22.53   

-20.0%

   $ 12.88       $ 15.63       $ 17.47       $ 19.31       $ 21.15       $ 23.90   

-15.0%

   $ 13.57       $ 16.50       $ 18.45       $ 20.40       $ 22.35       $ 25.28   

-10.0%

   $ 14.26       $ 17.36       $ 19.42       $ 21.49       $ 23.56       $ 26.66   

-5.0%

   $ 14.95       $ 18.22       $ 20.40       $ 22.58       $ 24.77       $ 28.04   

0.0%

   $ 15.63       $ 19.08       $ 21.38       $ 23.67       $ 25.97       $ 29.42   

5.0%

   $ 16.32       $ 19.94       $ 22.35       $ 24.77       $ 27.18       $ 30.80   

10.0%

   $ 17.01       $ 20.80       $ 23.33       $ 25.86       $ 28.38       $ 32.17   

15.0%

   $ 17.70       $ 21.66       $ 24.31       $ 26.95       $ 29.59       $ 33.55   

20.0%

   $ 18.39       $ 22.53       $ 25.28       $ 28.04       $ 30.80       $ 34.93   

25.0%

   $ 19.08       $ 23.39       $ 26.26       $ 29.13       $ 32.00       $ 36.31   

 

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At the January 21, 2014 North Valley board of directors meeting, Sandler O’Neill noted that the net present value analysis is a widely used valuation methodology, but the results of such methodology are highly dependent upon the numerous assumptions that must be made, and the results thereof are not necessarily indicative of actual values or future results.

Analysis of Selected Merger Transactions

Sandler O’Neill reviewed two groups of comparable mergers and acquisitions, the information for which was publicly available. The first of which included eighteen transactions announced between January 1, 2013 and January 20, 2014 involving nationwide banks with deal values between $100 million and $300 million with target non-performing assets / total assets less than 4% at announcement. Group one was composed of the following transactions:

Buyer/Seller

IBERIABANK Corporation/ Teche Holding Company

Old National Bancorp/ United Bancorp, Inc.

BancorpSouth, Inc./ Ouachita Bancshares Corp.

Provident Financial Services, Inc./ Team Capital Bank

Independent Bank Group, Inc./ BOH Holdings, Inc.

Heritage Financial Corporation/ Washington Banking Company

Cascade Bancorp/ Home Federal Bancorp, Inc.

East West Bancorp, Inc./ MetroCorp Bancshares, Inc.

Old National Bancorp/ Tower Financial Corporation

Prosperity Bancshares, Inc./ F & M Bancorporation Inc.

Mercantile Bank Corporation/ Firstbank Corporation

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc./ WNB Bancshares, Inc.

Wilshire Bancorp, Inc./ Saehan Bancorp

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas, Inc./ First National Security Company

Peoples Financial Services Corp./ Penseco Financial Services Corporation

Home BancShares, Inc./ Liberty Bancshares, Inc.

SCBT Financial Corporation/ First Financial Holdings, Inc.

Renasant Corporation/ First M&F Corporation

The second group of comparable mergers and acquisitions included seven transactions announced between January 1, 2013 and January 20, 2014 involving nationwide banks with deal values between $100 million and $300 million with target non-performing assets / total assets less than 4% and target tangible common equity / tangible assets greater than 10% at announcement. Group two was composed of the following transactions from group one:

Buyer/Seller

IBERIABANK Corporation/ Teche Holding Company

Heritage Financial Corporation/ Washington Banking Company

Cascade Bancorp/ Home Federal Bancorp, Inc.

East West Bancorp, Inc./ MetroCorp Bancshares, Inc.

Wilshire Bancorp, Inc./ Saehan Bancorp

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas, Inc./ First National Security Company

Peoples Financial Services Corp./ Penseco Financial Services Corporation

 

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Sandler O’Neill then reviewed the following multiples for each of the transactions: transaction price to book value, transaction price to tangible book value, transaction price to last twelve months’ earnings per share, transaction price to estimated earnings per share, tangible book premium to core deposits and transaction price premium to seller’s stock price one day before transaction announcement. As illustrated in the following table, Sandler O’Neill compared the proposed merger multiples to the multiples of the comparable transactions.

 

     North
Valley
    Comparable
Group One
    Comparable
Group Two
 
     /TriCo     Mean     Median     Mean     Median  

Transaction Value / Last Twelve Months’ Earnings Per Share

     55.5x        17.0x        15.9x        17.2x        15.6x   

Transaction Value / Median Estimated 2013 Earnings Per Share

     25.6x        17.3x        16.1x        20.1x        19.2x   

Transaction Value / Book Value Per Share

     188     166     160     141     152

Transaction Value / Tangible Book Value Per Share

     188     178     169     157     154

Tangible Book Premium to Core Deposits

     12.3     9.3     9.0     9.7     11.3

Premium to Stock Price:

     36.8     31.3     34.4     25.6     30.3

Imputed Valuation

The following table shows the imputed valuation for North Valley based on the application of mean and median multiples observed from the above transactions.

 

     Comparable
Group One
   

Implied Valuation:

Comparable

Group One

    

Comparable

Group Two

   

Implied Valuation:

Comparable

Group Two

 
     Mean     Median     Mean      Median      Mean     Median     Mean      Median  

Last Twelve Months’ EPS

     17.0x        15.9x      $ 7.97       $ 7.45         17.2x        15.6x      $ 8.07       $ 7.34   

Book Value

     166     160   $ 23.04       $ 22.23         141     152   $ 19.59       $ 21.09   

Tangible Book Value

     178     169   $ 24.70       $ 23.40         157     154   $ 21.76       $ 21.34   

Core Deposit Premium

     9.3     9.0   $ 23.51       $ 23.21         9.7     11.3   $ 23.98       $ 25.58   

2-Day Market Premium

     31.3     34.4     25.04       $ 25.63         25.6     30.3   $ 23.95       $ 24.85   

Illustrative Pro Forma Results

Sandler O’Neill analyzed certain potential pro forma effects of the merger, assuming the following: (i) the merger closes September 30, 2014; (ii) per share merger consideration value of $26.09, based on TriCo’s closing stock price on January 17, 2014 of $27.66; (iii) TriCo would be able to achieve cost savings of approximately 40% of North Valley projected operating expense and such savings would be 50% realized in 2014 and fully realized in 2015; (iv) pretax transaction costs and expenses would total approximately $20 million; (v) North Valley’s performance was calculated in accordance with publicly available mean analyst estimated earnings per share for the years ending December 31, 2013 and December 31, 2014, and an internal long-term growth rate for 2015 as provided by senior management of North Valley; (vi) TriCo’s performance was calculated in accordance with publicly available mean analyst estimated earnings per share for the years ending December 31, 2013 through December 31, 2015; and (vii) various purchase accounting adjustments provided by TriCo, including core deposit intangible, credit and interest rate mark-to-market adjustments and other accounting adjustments on North Valley’s loan portfolio, other real estate owned, other assets, deposits and borrowings. The analyses indicated that for the years ending December 31, 2014 and December 31, 2015, the merger (excluding transaction expenses) would be accretive to TriCo’s projected earnings per share and, as of September 30, 2014 the merger would be dilutive to TriCo’s tangible book value per share. The actual results achieved by the combined company, however, may vary from projected results and the variations may be material.

Sandler O’Neill’s Relationship

Sandler O’Neill acted as the financial advisor to North Valley’s board of directors in connection with the merger and will receive a fee of 1.0% of the aggregate consideration payable in the merger, $200,000 of which was received upon delivery of Sandler O’Neill’s opinion and the balance of which is contingent upon the closing of the merger. North Valley has also agreed to reimburse Sandler O’Neill’s for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with its engagement and to indemnify Sandler O’Neill and its affiliates and their respective partners, directors, officers, employee and agents against certain expenses and liabilities, including liabilities under the securities laws.

In the ordinary course of its business as a broker-dealer, Sandler O’Neill may purchase securities from and sell securities to North Valley and TriCo and their respective affiliates. Sandler O’Neill may also actively trade the debt and/or equity securities of North Valley or TriCo or their respective affiliates for their own accounts and for the accounts of their customers and, accordingly may at any time hold a long or short position in such securities.

 

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Recommendation of the TriCo Board of Directors and Reasons for the Merger

TriCo considers North Valley to be a strategic acquisition as it believes that the acquisition will provide significant value to the shareholders of both organizations. In reaching its decision to adopt and approve the merger agreement, the merger and the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement, and to recommend that its shareholders approve the TriCo Merger proposal, the TriCo board of directors consulted with TriCo management, as well as its financial and legal advisors, and considered a number of factors, including the following material factors:

 

    each of TriCo’s and North Valley’s business, operations, financial condition, asset quality, earnings and prospects;

 

    the overlap of North Valley’s branches with TriCo’ branches has the potential to reduce TriCo’s total operating costs once all potential synergies have been realized;

 

    the potential for the combination of the two institutions to create a more valuable community bank franchise, with a low cost core deposit base, strong capital ratios, attractive net interest margins, lower operating costs, and better overall returns for the shareholders of the combined institution;

 

    its understanding of the current and prospective environment in which TriCo and North Valley operate, including national and local economic conditions, the competitive environment for financial institutions generally, and the likely effect of these factors on TriCo both with and without the proposed transaction;

 

    its review and discussions with TriCo’s management concerning the due diligence examination of North Valley;

 

    the complementary nature of the customers and markets of the two companies;

 

    management’s expectation that TriCo will retain or enhance its strong capital position upon completion of the transaction;

 

    the opinion of KBW, TriCo’s financial advisor, dated January 21, 2014, delivered to the TriCo board of directors to the effect that, as of that date, and subject to and based on the various assumptions, considerations, qualifications and limitations set forth in the opinion, the exchange ratio to be used in the merger was fair, from a financial point of view, to TriCo;

 

    the financial and other terms of the merger agreement, including merger consideration, tax treatment and mutual deal protection and termination fee provisions, which it reviewed with its outside financial and legal advisors;

 

    the potential risks associated with achieving anticipated cost synergies and savings and successfully integrating North Valley’s business, operations and workforce with those of TriCo, including the costs and risks of successfully integrating the differing business models of the two companies;

 

    TriCo’s past record of integrating acquisitions and of realizing projected financial goals and benefits of acquisitions;

 

    the nature and amount of payments and other benefits to be received by North Valley management in connection with the merger pursuant to existing North Valley plans and compensation arrangements and the merger agreement;

 

    the potential risk of diverting management attention and resources from the operation of TriCo’s business and towards the completion of the merger and the integration of the two companies;

 

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    the regulatory and other approvals required in connection with the merger and the potential to receive such regulatory approvals in a reasonably timely manner and without the imposition of unacceptable conditions; and

 

    the potential to create a banking platform that is well positioned for future growth, both organically and through acquisitions.

The foregoing discussion of the information and factors considered by the TriCo board of directors is not intended to be exhaustive, but includes the material factors considered by the TriCo board of directors. In reaching its decision to approve the merger agreement, the merger and the other transactions contemplated by the merger agreement, the TriCo board of directors did not quantify or assign any relative weights to the factors considered, and individual directors may have given different weights to different factors. The TriCo board of directors considered all these factors as a whole, including discussions with, and questioning of, TriCo’s management and TriCo’s financial and legal advisors, and overall considered the factors to be favorable to, and to support its determination to approve entry into the merger agreement.

For the reasons set forth above, the TriCo board of directors determined that the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement, including the issuance of TriCo common stock in connection with the merger, are advisable and in the best interests of TriCo and its shareholders, and unanimously approved the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated by it. The TriCo board of directors unanimously recommends that the TriCo shareholders vote “FOR” the TriCo Merger proposal and “FOR” the TriCo Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate).

Each of the directors of TriCo has entered into a shareholder agreement with TriCo and North Valley, pursuant to which they have agreed to vote “FOR” the TriCo Merger proposal and “FOR” the TriCo Adjournment proposal (if necessary or appropriate). For more information regarding the shareholder agreements, please see the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Shareholder Agreements” beginning on page 96.

Opinion of TriCo’s Financial Advisor

Pursuant to an engagement letter dated January 15, 2014, TriCo engaged Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. to render financial advisory and investment banking services to TriCo, including an opinion to the TriCo board of directors as to the fairness, from a financial point of view, to TriCo of the exchange ratio to be used in the proposed merger. TriCo selected KBW because KBW is a nationally recognized investment banking firm with substantial experience in transactions similar to the merger. As part of its investment banking business, KBW is continually engaged in the valuation of financial services businesses and their securities in connection with mergers and acquisitions.

As part of its engagement, representatives of KBW attended the meeting of the TriCo Board held on January 21, 2014, at which the TriCo board of directors evaluated the proposed merger. At this meeting, KBW reviewed the financial aspects of the proposed merger and delivered to the TriCo board of directors its oral opinion, subsequently followed by delivery of its written opinion, that, as of such date and subject to the procedures followed, assumptions made, matters considered, and qualifications and limitations on the review undertaken by KBW as set forth in such opinion, the exchange ratio in the proposed merger was fair, from a financial point of view, to TriCo. The TriCo board of directors approved the merger agreement at the January 21, 2014 meeting.

The description of the opinion set forth herein is qualified in its entirety by reference to the full text of KBW’s written opinion dated January 21, 2014, which is attached as Appendix C to this document and is incorporated herein by reference, and describes the procedures followed, assumptions made, matters considered, and qualifications and limitations on the review undertaken by KBW in rendering its opinion.

KBW’s opinion speaks only as of the date of the opinion. The opinion was for the information of, and was directed to, the TriCo Board (in its capacity as such) in connection with its consideration of the financial terms of the merger. The opinion addressed only the fairness, from a financial point of view, to TriCo of the

 

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exchange ratio in the merger. It did not address the underlying business decision to proceed with the merger or constitute a recommendation to the TriCo board of directors as to how it should vote on the merger, and it does not constitute a recommendation to any shareholder of TriCo or North Valley as to how any such shareholder should vote at any shareholder meeting at which the merger is considered or whether or not any such shareholder should enter into a voting, shareholders’, or affiliates’ agreement with respect to the merger or exercise any dissenters’ or appraisal rights that may be available to such shareholder.

KBW’s opinion was reviewed and approved by KBW’s Fairness Opinion Committee in conformity with its policies and procedures established under the requirements of Rule 5150 of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

In rendering the opinion, KBW reviewed, analyzed and relied upon material bearing upon the financial and operating condition of TriCo and North Valley and the merger, including among other things:

 

    a draft, dated January 20, 2014, of the merger agreement (the most recent draft then made available to KBW);

 

    the audited financial statements and Annual Reports on Form 10-K for the three years ended December 31, 2012 for TriCo and North Valley;

 

    the Quarterly Filings with the Federal Reserve and/or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for the five quarters ended September 30, 2013 of TriCo and North Valley;

 

    the quarterly reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2013, June 30, 2013 and September 30, 2013 of TriCo and North Valley;

 

    certain other interim reports and other communications of TriCo and North Valley to their respective stockholders; and

 

    other financial information concerning the businesses and operations of TriCo and North Valley either furnished to KBW by TriCo and North Valley or which KBW was otherwise directed to use for purposes of its analysis.

KBW’s consideration of financial information and other factors that it deemed appropriate under the circumstances or relevant to its analyses included, among others, the following:

 

    the historical and current financial position and results of operations of TriCo and North Valley;

 

    the assets and liabilities of TriCo and North Valley;

 

    the nature and terms of certain other merger transactions and business combinations in the banking industry;

 

    a comparison of certain financial and stock market information for each of TriCo and North Valley with similar information for certain other companies the securities of which are publicly traded;

 

    the publicly available consensus “street estimates” of TriCo for 2014 and 2015 and of North Valley for 2014, as well as assumed long term growth rates based thereon that were provided to KBW by the respective management teams of TriCo and North Valley, all of which information was discussed by KBW with such management teams and used and relied upon by KBW at the direction of such management teams with the consent of the TriCo board of directors; and

 

    estimates regarding certain pro forma financial effects of the merger on TriCo that were prepared and provided to KBW by TriCo management.

 

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KBW also performed such other studies and analyses as it considered appropriate and took into account its assessment of general economic, market and financial conditions and its experience in other transactions, as well as its experience in securities valuation and knowledge of the banking industry generally. KBW also held discussions with senior management of TriCo and North Valley regarding the past and current business operations, regulatory relations, financial condition and future prospects of their respective companies and such other matters that KBW deemed relevant to its inquiry.

In conducting its review and arriving at its opinion, KBW relied upon and assumed the accuracy and completeness of all of the financial and other information provided to it or publicly available and did not independently verify the accuracy or completeness of any such information or assume any responsibility or liability for such verification, accuracy or completeness. KBW relied upon the respective management teams of TriCo and North Valley as to the reasonableness and achievability of the financial and operating forecasts and projections of TriCo and North Valley (and the assumptions and bases therefor including, but not limited to, in the case of TriCo, any potential cost savings and operating synergies and other potential pro forma effects assumed or estimated with respect to the merger) that were prepared by such management teams and provided to KBW or that, in the case of the publicly available consensus “street estimates” of North Valley and TriCo, KBW was directed to use. KBW assumed, at the direction of TriCo, that all of such forecasts and projections reflected, or in the case of the publicly available consensus “street estimates” referred to above were consistent with, the best available estimates and judgments of the TriCo and North Valley management teams and that such forecasts and projections would be realized in the amounts and time periods estimated.

It is understood that the forecasts, projections and estimates of TriCo and North Valley provided to KBW were not prepared with the expectation of public disclosure, that all such information is based on numerous variables and assumptions that are inherently uncertain, including, without limitation, factors related to general economic and competitive conditions and that, accordingly, actual results could vary significantly from those set forth in such forecasts, projections and estimates. KBW assumed, based on discussions with the respective management teams of TriCo and North Valley, that such forecasts, projections and estimates, as well as publicly available consensus “street estimates” of TriCo and North Valley referred to above, provided a reasonable basis upon which KBW could form its opinion and KBW expressed no view as to any such information or the assumptions or bases therefor. KBW relied on this information without independent verification or analysis and did not in any respect assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy or completeness thereof.

KBW also assumed that there were no material changes in the assets, liabilities, financial condition, results of operations, business or prospects of either TriCo or North Valley since the date of the last financial statements of each such entity that were made available to KBW. KBW is not an expert in the independent verification of the adequacy of allowances for loan and lease losses and it assumed, without independent verification and with TriCo’s consent that the aggregate allowances for loan and lease losses for TriCo and North Valley were adequate to cover such losses. In rendering its opinion, KBW did not make or obtain any evaluations or appraisals or physical inspection of the property, assets or liabilities (contingent or otherwise) of TriCo or North Valley, the collateral securing any of such assets or liabilities, or the collectability of any such assets, nor did KBW examine any individual loan or credit files or evaluate the solvency, financial capability or fair value of TriCo or North Valley under any state or federal laws, including those relating to bankruptcy, insolvency or other matters. Estimates of values of companies and assets do not purport to be appraisals or necessarily reflect the prices at which companies or assets may actually be sold. Because such estimates are inherently subject to uncertainty, KBW assumed no responsibility or liability for their accuracy.

For purposes of rendering its opinion, KBW assumed that, in all respects material to its analysis:

 

    the merger would be completed substantially in accordance with the terms set forth in the merger agreement (the final terms of which KBW assumed would not differ in any respect material to KBW’s analyses from the draft reviewed by KBW) with no additional payments or adjustments to the exchange ratio;

 

    the representations and warranties of each party in the merger agreement and in all related documents and instruments referred to in the merger agreement are true and correct;

 

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    each party to the merger agreement and all related documents would perform all of the covenants and agreements required to be performed by such party under such documents;

 

    there are no factors that would delay or subject to any adverse conditions, any necessary regulatory or governmental approval for the merger and that all conditions to the completion of the merger would be satisfied without any waivers or modifications to the merger agreement; and

 

    in the course of obtaining the necessary regulatory, contractual, or other consents or approvals for the merger, no restrictions, including any divestiture requirements, termination or other payments or amendments or modifications, would be imposed that would have a material adverse effect on the future results of operations or financial condition of TriCo, North Valley or the combined entity or the contemplated benefits of the merger, including the cost savings, revenue enhancements and related expenses expected to result from the merger.

KBW further assumed that the merger would be consummated in a manner that would comply with the applicable provisions of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, the Exchange Act and all other applicable federal and state statutes, rules and regulations. KBW further assumed that TriCo relied upon the advice of its counsel, independent accountants and other advisors (other than KBW) as to all legal, financial reporting, tax, accounting and regulatory matters with respect to TriCo, North Valley, the merger, the related merger of North Valley Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of North Valley, with and into Tri Counties Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of TriCo (the “Subsidiary Bank Merger”), and the merger agreement. KBW did not provide advice with respect to any such matters.

KBW’s opinion addressed only the fairness, from a financial point of view, as of the date of such opinion, of the exchange ratio to be used in the merger to TriCo. KBW expressed no view or opinion as to any terms or other aspects of the merger, including without limitation, the form or structure of the merger, any transactions that might be related to the merger, any consequences of the merger to TriCo, its stockholders, creditors or otherwise, or any terms, aspects or implications of any voting, support, stockholder or other agreements, arrangements or understandings contemplated or entered into in connection with the merger or otherwise, including without limitation the amendment, entered into on or prior to the date of the merger agreement, to the North Valley amended and restated shareholder protection rights agreement dated as of March 26, 2009. KBW’s opinion was necessarily based upon conditions as they existed and could be evaluated on the date of such opinion and the information made available to KBW through such date. It is understood that developments subsequent to the date of KBW’s opinion may have affected, and may affect, the conclusion reached in KBW’s opinion and that KBW did not and does not have an obligation to update, revise or reaffirm its opinion. KBW’s opinion did not address, and KBW expressed no view or opinion with respect to:

 

    the underlying business decision of TriCo to engage in the merger or enter into the merger agreement;

 

    the relative merits of the merger as compared to any strategic alternatives that are, have been or may be available to or contemplated by TriCo or the TriCo board of directors;

 

    the fairness of the amount or nature of any compensation to any of TriCo’s officers, directors or employees, or any class of such persons, relative to any compensation to the holders of TriCo common stock;

 

    the effect of the merger on, or the fairness of the consideration to be received by, holders of any class of securities of TriCo or North Valley, or any other party to any transaction contemplated by the merger agreement;

 

    the Subsidiary Bank Merger;

 

    the actual value of the TriCo common stock to be issued in the merger;

 

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    the prices, trading range or volume at which TriCo common stock or North Valley common stock would trade following the public announcement of the merger or the prices, trading rage or volume at which TriCo common stock would trade following consummation of the merger;

 

    any advice or opinions provided by any other advisor to any of the parties to the merger or any other transaction contemplated by the merger agreement; or

 

    any legal, regulatory, accounting, tax or similar matters relating to TriCo, North Valley, their respective stockholders, or relating to or arising out of or as a consequence of the merger, the Subsidiary Bank Merger or any related transaction, including whether or not the merger would qualify as a tax-free reorganization for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

In performing its analyses, KBW made numerous assumptions with respect to industry performance, general business, economic, market and financial conditions and other matters, which are beyond the control of KBW, TriCo, and North Valley. Any estimates contained in the analyses performed by KBW are not necessarily indicative of actual values or future results, which may be significantly more or less favorable than suggested by these analyses. Additionally, estimates of the value of businesses or securities do not purport to be appraisals or to reflect the prices at which such businesses or securities might actually be sold. Accordingly, these analyses and estimates are inherently subject to substantial uncertainty. In addition, the KBW opinion was among several factors taken into consideration by the TriCo board of directors in making its determination to approve the merger agreement and the merger. Consequently, the analyses described below should not be viewed as determinative of the decision of the TriCo Board with respect to the fairness of the merger consideration. The exchange ratio was determined through negotiation between TriCo and North Valley and the decision to enter into the merger agreement was solely that of the TriCo board of directors.

The following is a summary of the material financial analyses presented by KBW to the TriCo board of directors on January 21, 2014, in connection with its opinion. The summary is not a complete description of the financial analyses underlying the opinion or the presentation made by KBW to the TriCo board of directors, but summarizes the material analyses performed and presented in connection with such opinion. The preparation of a fairness opinion is a complex analytic process involving various determinations as to appropriate and relevant methods of financial analysis and the application of those methods to the particular circumstances. Therefore, a fairness opinion is not readily susceptible to partial analysis or summary description. In arriving at its opinion, KBW did not attribute any particular weight to any analysis or factor that it considered, but rather made qualitative judgments as to the significance and relevance of each analysis and factor. The financial analyses summarized below include information presented in tabular format. Accordingly, KBW believes that its analyses and the summary of its analyses must be considered as a whole and that selecting portions of its analyses and factors or focusing on the information presented below in tabular format, without considering all analyses and factors or the full narrative description of the financial analyses, including the methodologies and assumptions underlying the analyses, could create a misleading or incomplete view of the process underlying its analyses and opinion. The tables alone do not constitute a complete description of the financial analyses. No company or transaction used as a comparison in the selected companies or selected transactions analyses described below is identical to TriCo, North Valley or the merger. Accordingly, an analysis of these results is not mathematical. Rather, it involves complex considerations and judgments concerning differences in financial and operating characteristics of the companies.

For purposes of the financial analyses described below, based on the closing price of TriCo common stock on January 17, 2014 of $27.66, the exchange ratio of 0.9433x represented an implied value of $26.09 per share of North Valley common stock. To perform the selected companies analyses described below, KBW used (i) financial information as of or for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013, (ii) earnings estimates for 2013, 2014 and 2015 from First Call, a nationally recognized earnings estimate consolidator, and (iii) market price data as of January 17, 2014. Certain financial data, referenced in the tables presented below, may not correspond to the data presented in TriCo’s and North Valley’s historical financial statements, as a result of the different periods, assumptions and methods used by KBW to compute the financial data presented.

Selected Companies Analysis for TriCo. Using publicly available information, KBW compared the financial condition and market performance of TriCo to the following banks that are publicly traded on major

 

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exchanges and are headquartered in the Western U.S. (defined as Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming) with assets between $1.5 billion and $5 billion, excluding thrifts and pending merger targets.

The selected companies included:

 

Westamerica Bancorporation    CoBiz Financial Inc.
Central Pacific Financial Corp.    Guaranty Bancorp
Banner Corporation    Preferred Bank
Banc of California, Inc.    Heritage Financial Corporation
Hanmi Financial Corporation    Pacific Premier Bancorp, Inc.
Wilshire Bancorp, Inc.   

KBW’s analysis showed, to the extent publicly available, the following concerning the financial performance and financial condition of TriCo and the selected companies:

 

     TriCo     Peer
Group
Minimum
    Peer
Group
25th
Percentile
    Peer
Group
Mean
    Peer
Group

Median
    Peer
Group

75th
Percentile
    Peer
Group

Maximum
 

LTM Return on Average Assets

     1.04     (0.28 %)      0.76     1.25     1.16     1.50     3.65

LTM Return on Average Equity

     11.35     (2.77 %)      6.46     10.17     9.41     12.20     27.88

LTM Net Interest Margin

     4.17     3.12     3.74     3.97     4.02     4.18     4.80

LTM Efficiency Ratio

     66.4     45.8     54.5     65.5     65.4     71.6     93.2

Tangible Common Equity / Tangible Assets

     8.75     5.09     9.05     10.53     11.29     12.47     13.95

Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio

     14.88     12.64     14.76     16.55     15.99     17.57     22.58

Loans / Deposits

     72.3     45.7     83.2     82.5     87.2     89.6     97.4

Loan Loss Reserve / Gross Loans

     2.37     0.65     1.50     1.92     2.04     2.33     3.41

Nonperforming Assets / Assets

     3.82     0.15     1.11     1.40     1.59     1.80     2.27

Nonperforming Assets / Loans + OREO

     6.16     0.21     1.53     2.04     2.08     2.48     3.47

LTM Net Charge-Offs / Average Loans

     0.35     (0.02 %)      0.13     0.30     0.40     0.45     0.60

 

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KBW’s analysis showed, to the extent publicly available, the following concerning the market performance of TriCo and the selected companies (excluding stock price/LTM EPS multiples and LTM dividend payout percentages for selected companies whose EPS was negative or zero):

 

     TriCo     Peer
Group

Minimum
    Peer
Group

25th
Percentile
    Peer
Group

Mean
    Peer
Group

Median
    Peer
Group

75th
Percentile
    Peer
Group

Maximum
 

% One Year Stock Price Change

     65.4     12.1     24.7     36.9     37.2     46.7     72.1

% One Year Total Return

     68.6     16.3     27.0     38.8     39.2     46.7     74.0

% YTD Price Change

     (2.5 %)      (6.4 %)      (3.6 %)      (0.9 %)      (0.9 %)      1.3     5.1

Stock Price / Book Value per Share

     1.81x        1.08x        1.36x        1.67x        1.57x        1.89x        2.60x   

Stock Price / Tangible Book Value per Share

     1.94x        1.28x        1.46x        1.83x        1.60x        1.96x        3.54x   

Stock Price / LTM EPS

     16.7x        4.9x        15.4x        17.9x        17.6x        21.3x        26.4x   

Stock Price / 2013 EPS (1)

     15.4x        15.3x        16.8x        22.8x        17.7x        22.3x        54.7x   

Stock Price / 2014 EPS (1)

     16.3x        11.6x        14.1x        17.0x        16.4x        19.0x        23.2x   

Stock Price / 2015 EPS (1)

     15.1x        9.9x        12.5x        15.0x        13.4x        16.1x        23.7x   

Dividend Yield (2)

     1.59     0.00     0.95     1.42     1.29     1.68     3.59

LTM Dividend Payout (3)

     24.44     0.00     14.83     23.38     20.31     31.25     63.33

 

(1) First Call consensus EPS estimates.
(2) Represents most recent quarterly dividend annualized as a percentage of stock price.
(3) Represents most recent quarterly dividend annualized as a percentage of LTM EPS.

Selected Companies Analysis for North Valley. Using publicly available information, KBW then compared the financial condition and market performance of North Valley to the following banks that are publicly traded on major exchanges and are headquartered in the Western U.S. with assets between $500 million and $1.5 billion, excluding thrifts and pending merger targets.

The selected companies included:

 

Bank of Marin Bancorp    Bank of Commerce Holdings
Bridge Capital Holdings    Pacific Mercantile Bancorp
Pacific Continental Corporation    Intermountain Community Bancorp
Cascade Bancorp    United Security Bancshares
Heritage Commerce Corp    Oak Valley Bancorp
Sierra Bancorp    American River Bankshares
CU Bancorp    Community West Bancshares
Northrim BanCorp, Inc.    1st Century Bancshares, Inc.
Heritage Oaks Bancorp    Plumas Bancorp
Central Valley Community Bancorp   

 

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KBW’s analysis showed, to the extent publicly available, the following concerning the financial performance and financial condition of North Valley and the selected companies:

 

     North
Valley
    Peer
Group

Minimum
    Peer
Group

25th
Percentile
    Peer
Group

Mean
    Peer
Group

Median
    Peer
Group

75th
Percentile
    Peer
Group

Maximum
 

LTM Return on Average Assets

     0.36 %*      (0.82 %)      0.73     0.99     0.88     1.14     3.83

LTM Return on Average Equity

     3.40 %*      (6.94 %)      6.56     8.80     7.94     9.06     33.05

LTM Net Interest Margin

     3.83     3.16     3.84     4.01     4.02     4.22     5.00

LTM Efficiency Ratio

     80.7 %*      56.1     64.9     72.9     70.8     77.5     114.6

Tangible Common Equity / Tangible Assets

     10.41     5.72     9.35     10.32     10.49     11.20     13.28

Total Risk-Based Capital Ratio

     18.58     12.47     14.60     16.57     15.67     17.33     24.62

Loans / Deposits

     65.0     52.0     70.6     76.4     77.3     81.5     107.0

Loan Loss Reserve / Gross Loans

     1.83     1.10     1.57     1.92     1.92     2.21     2.75

Nonperforming Assets / Assets

     2.47     0.20     1.23     2.48     1.79     3.79     5.85

Nonperforming Assets / Loans + OREO

     4.29     0.30     1.88     3.85     2.74     5.31     9.66

LTM Net Charge-Offs / Average Loans

     0.43     (0.77 %)      (0.04 %)      0.26     0.16     0.49     1.69

 

* Includes other real estate owned (“OREO”) expense of $4.4 million.

 

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KBW’s analysis showed, to the extent publicly available, the following concerning the market performance of North Valley and the selected companies (excluding stock price / EPS multiples for selected companies whose EPS was negative or zero):

 

     North
Valley
    Peer
Group

Minimum
    Peer
Group

25th
Percentile
    Peer
Group

Mean
    Peer
Group

Median
    Peer
Group

75th
Percentile
    Peer
Group

Maximum
 

% One Year Stock Price Change

     19.3     (26.5 %)      18.8     33.4     31.2     43.9     132.4

% One Year Total Return

     19.3     (26.5 %)      20.9     34.7     32.3     43.9     132.4

% YTD Price Change

     0.8     (7.3 %)      (1.3 %)      1.0     0.6     2.3     11.9

Stock Price / Book Value per Share

     1.37x        0.96x        1.05x        1.25x        1.16x        1.44x        2.02x   

Stock Price / Tangible Book Value per Share

     1.37x        0.96x        1.13x        1.33x        1.23x        1.48x        2.02x   

Stock Price / LTM EPS

     40.6x     4.5x        12.1x        16.2x        15.3x        20.5x        29.7x   

Stock Price / 2013 EPS (1)

     30.8x     8.7x        14.6x        18.3x        18.9x        20.4x        29.2x   

Stock Price / 2014 EPS (1)

     18.7x        10.7x        15.4x        17.7x        17.7x        19.0x        26.5x   

Stock Price / 2015 EPS (1)

     13.2x        9.4x        12.6x        14.5x        13.9x        15.3x        23.7x   

Dividend Yield (2)

     0.00     0.00     0.00     0.79     0.00     1.72     2.68

LTM Dividend Payout (3)

     0.00     0.00     0.00     10.67     0.00     25.00     40.91

 

* Includes OREO expense of $4.4 million.
(1) First Call consensus EPS estimates.
(2) Represents most recent quarterly dividend annualized as a percentage of stock price.
(3) Represents most recent quarterly dividend annualized as a percentage of LTM EPS.

Selected Transactions Analysis. KBW reviewed publicly available information related to 24 selected mergers and acquisitions involving banks and bank holding companies as well as thrifts and thrift holding companies nationwide that were announced in the last twelve months, with disclosed deal values between $100 million and $500 million and target nonperforming assets to assets ratio of less than or equal to 4%. The selected transactions included:

 

Acquiror:

  

Acquired Company:

IBERIABANK Corporation    Teche Holding Company
BancorpSouth, Inc.    Ouachita Bancshares Corp.
Old National Bancorp    United Bancorp, Inc.
Provident Financial Services, Inc.    Team Capital Bank
ViewPoint Financial Group, Inc.    LegacyTexas Group, Inc.
Independent Bank Group, Inc.    BOH Holdings, Inc.
Rockville Financial, Inc.    United Financial Bancorp, Inc.
Cascade Bancorp    Home Federal Bancorp, Inc.
Heritage Financial Corporation    Washington Banking Company
East West Bancorp, Inc.    MetroCorp Bancshares, Inc.
Old National Bancorp    Tower Financial Corporation
Prosperity Bancshares, Inc.    F & M Bancorporation Inc.
Mercantile Bank Corporation    Firstbank Corporation

 

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Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc.    WNB Bancshares, Inc.
Wilshire Bancorp, Inc.    Saehan Bancorp
First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas, Inc.    First National Security Company
Prosperity Bancshares, Inc.    FVNB Corp.
Peoples Financial Services Corp.    Penseco Financial Services Corporation
Home BancShares, Inc.    Liberty Bancshares, Inc.
Union First Market Bankshares Corporation    StellarOne Corporation
Provident New York Bancorp    Sterling Bancorp
SCBT Financial Corporation    First Financial Holdings, Inc.
Renasant Corporation    First M&F Corporation
United Bankshares, Inc.    Virginia Commerce Bancorp, Inc.

To the extent publicly available, KBW derived, among other things, the following implied ratios for the selected transactions:

 

    price per share paid for the acquired company to tangible book value per share of the acquired company based on the latest publicly available financial statements of the company available prior to the announcement of the acquisition;

 

    price per share paid for the acquired company to last twelve months EPS based on the latest publicly available financial statements of the acquired company prior to the announcement of the acquisition;

 

    transaction value for the acquired company minus tangible common equity premium as a percentage of core deposits (total deposits less time deposits greater than $100,000) based on the latest publicly available financial statements of the company available prior to the announcement of the acquisition; and

 

    price per share paid for the acquired company to the closing price of the acquired company one day and one month prior to the announcement of the acquisition (expressed as a percentage and referred to as the 1-day market premium and 1-month market premium).

These ratios were compared with corresponding transaction ratios for the proposed merger based on the implied value of $26.09 per share of North Valley common stock, derived using the 0.9433x exchange ratio in the proposed merger and the closing price of TriCo common stock on January 17, 2014 of $27.66. The results of the analysis are set forth in the following table (excluding certain LTM EPS multiples for transactions in which the acquired company’s EPS was negative or zero):

 

Transaction Multiples:

   North
Valley
    Peer
Group

Minimum
    Peer
Group

25th
Percentile
    Peer
Group

Mean
    Peer
Group

Median
    Peer
Group

75th
Percentile
    Peer
Group

Maximum
 

Tangible Book Value

     1.91x        1.27x        1.48x        1.81x        1.69x        1.95x        2.84x   

LTM EPS

     55.4x     12.0x        15.2x        18.7x        17.0x        19.7x        48.5x   

Core Deposit Premium

     12.27     2.09     6.91     9.53     9.01     12.54     18.43

One-Day Market Premium(1)

     36.8     (36.3 %)      10.8     20.1     18.0     33.5     64.8

One-Month Market Premium(2)

     38.6     (36.3 %)      15.8     31.3     32.5     46.0     82.9

 

* Includes OREO expense of $4.4 million.
(1) Based on North Valley’s stock price of $19.07 on 1/17/2014.
(2) Based on North Valley’s stock price of $18.82 on 12/17/2013.

 

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No company or transaction used as a comparison in the above analysis is identical to TriCo, North Valley or the proposed merger. Accordingly, an analysis of these results is not mathematical. Rather, it involves complex considerations and judgments concerning differences in financial and operating characteristics of the companies involved.

Relative Contribution Analysis. KBW prepared an analysis comparing the relative standalone percentage contributions of TriCo and North Valley to the pro forma market capitalization, balance sheet and income statement items of the combined entity, including pro forma ownership, assets, gross loans, deposits, tangible common equity, last twelve months net income, and projected 2013, 2014 and 2015 net income available to common shareholders. This analysis excluded any purchase accounting adjustments.

To perform this analysis, KBW used (i) balance sheet data for TriCo and North Valley as of September 30, 2013, (ii) net income for the twelve months ended September 30, 2013 for TriCo and North Valley, (iii) publicly available consensus “street estimates” of net income of TriCo for 2013, 2014 and 2015 and publicly available consensus “street estimates” of net income for North Valley for 2013 and 2014, and a net income growth rate for North Valley for 2015 assumed per TriCo management, and (iv) market price data as of January 17, 2014. The results of KBW’s analysis are set forth in the following table:

 

($ in millions)    TriCo
as a % of
Total
    North
Valley
as a % of
Total
 

Ownership

    

100% stock (0.9433x exchange ratio)

     71.4     28.6

Balance Sheet ($mm)

    

Assets

     74.3     25.7

Gross Loans

     76.5     23.5

Deposits

     74.6     25.4

Tangible Common Equity

     70.7     29.3

Net Income to Common ($mm)

    

LTM Net Income

     89.1     10.9

2013e Net Income (1)

     87.2     12.8

2014e Net Income (1)

     79.7     20.3

2015e Net Income (1)

     80.1     19.9

Market Capitalization ($mm) (2)

    

Pre-Deal Market Capitalization

     77.3     22.7

 

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(1) TriCo’s net income estimates per consensus “street estimates”; North Valley’s 2013 & 2014 net income estimates per consensus “street estimates” and net income growth rate for 2015 assumed per TriCo management.
(2) Market capitalization as of 1/17/2014.

Financial Impact Analysis. KBW performed a pro forma merger analysis that combined projected income statement and balance sheet information at September 30, 2013 of TriCo and North Valley. Pro forma assumptions regarding, among other things, the accounting treatment of the merger, merger adjustments and cost savings, and purchase accounting adjustments for marking assets to fair value, provided to KBW by TriCo management, were used to calculate the potential financial impact that the proposed merger could have on certain historical and projected financial results of TriCo. For the analysis, at the direction of TriCo management, KBW used publicly available consensus “street estimates” for TriCo’s net income for 2014 and 2015 and used publicly available consensus “street estimates” for North Valley’s net income for 2014 and TriCo’s management guidance regarding net income growth for 2015. The analysis indicated that the merger (excluding one-time merger-related charges) would be accretive to TriCo’s estimated earnings per share in 2014 and 2015. The analysis also indicated that the merger would be dilutive to tangible book value per share for TriCo and that one of TriCo’s pro forma capital ratios would be lower at the closing of the merger. For all of the above analyses, the actual results achieved by TriCo following the proposed merger will vary from the projected results, and the variations may be material.

Discounted Cash Flow Analysis. KBW performed a discounted cash flow analysis to estimate a range for the implied equity value of North Valley. In this analysis, at the direction of TriCo management, KBW used publicly available consensus “street estimates” for North Valley for 2014 pertaining to the earnings and assets of North Valley, as well as assumed long term growth rates based thereon, certain assumptions regarding the pro forma effects of the proposed merger (including cost savings) and purchase accounting adjustments for marking assets to fair value. KBW assumed discount rates ranging from 11.0% to 15.0% and the range of values was determined by adding (1) the present value of projected cash flows to North Valley shareholders from fiscal years 2014 to 2018 and (2) the present value of the terminal value of North Valley cash flows. In determining cash flows available to shareholders, KBW assumed balance sheet growth per TriCo management and assumed that North Valley would maintain a tangible common equity / tangible asset ratio of 8.00%, and would retain sufficient earnings to maintain these levels. Any earnings in excess of what would need to be retained represented dividendable cash flows for North Valley. In calculating the terminal value of North Valley, KBW applied multiples ranging from 13.0 times to 17.0 times 2019 estimated earnings. This resulted in a range of implied values per share of North Valley common stock of $23.01 per share to $32.86 per share.

The discounted cash flow analysis is a widely used valuation methodology, but the results of such methodology are highly dependent upon the assumptions that must be made, including asset and earnings growth rates, terminal values and discount rates. The analysis did not purport to be indicative of the actual values or expected values of North Valley.

Miscellaneous. KBW served as financial advisor to TriCo in connection with the proposed merger, and did not act as an advisor to or agent of any other person. As part of its investment banking business, KBW is continually engaged in the valuation of bank and bank holding company securities in connection with acquisitions, negotiated underwritings, secondary distributions of listed and unlisted securities, private placements and valuations for various other purposes. As specialists in the securities of banking companies, KBW has experience in, and knowledge of, the valuation of banking enterprises. In the ordinary course of its business as a broker-dealer, KBW may, from time to time, purchase securities from, or sell securities to, TriCo and North Valley. As a market maker in securities, KBW may from time to time have a long or short position in, and buy or sell, debt or equity securities of TriCo and North Valley for its own account and for the accounts of its customers. To the extent KBW had any such positions as of the date of its opinion, it was disclosed to TriCo.

Pursuant to KBW’s engagement agreement, TriCo agreed to pay KBW a cash fee of $1,000,000, $100,000 of which became payable upon the rendering of KBW’s opinion and the balance of which is contingent upon the successful completion of the merger. In addition, TriCo agreed to reimburse KBW for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses and disbursements incurred in connection with the transaction and to indemnify KBW against certain liabilities, including liabilities under the federal securities laws. Other than in connection with the merger, during the two years preceding the date of its opinion, KBW did not provide investment banking and financial advisory

 

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services to TriCo. During the two years preceding the date of its opinion, KBW did not provide investment banking and financial advisory services to North Valley. KBW may in the future provide investment banking and financial advisory services to TriCo and/or North Valley and receive compensation for such services.

Management and Board of Directors of TriCo After the Merger

Under the terms of the merger agreement, three individuals who are currently directors of North Valley will be designated by TriCo to join the board of directors of TriCo. The designated individuals must be approved by the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee of the board of directors of TriCo. TriCo and North Valley expect to select such individuals prior to the consummation of the transaction.

The current directors and senior officers of TriCo are currently expected to continue in their current positions. Information about the current TriCo directors and executive officers can be found in the documents listed under the section entitled “Where You Can Find More Information” beginning on page v.

Interests of TriCo Directors and Executive Officers in the Merger

TriCo has not entered into any agreement or understanding, whether written or unwritten, with any director or executive officer, pursuant to which any such person would be entitled to receive compensation, whether present, deferred or contingent, that is based on or otherwise relates to the merger.

Interests of North Valley Directors and Executive Officers in the Merger

In considering the recommendation of the North Valley board of directors with respect to the merger, North Valley shareholders should be aware that the executive officers and directors of North Valley have certain interests in the merger that may be different from, or in addition to, the interests of North Valley shareholders generally. The North Valley board of directors was aware of these interests and considered them, among other matters, in approving the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated thereby and making its recommendation that North Valley shareholders vote to approve the North Valley Merger proposal. These interests are described in further detail below. Please note that, except as stated otherwise, amounts specified below have been calculated assuming that the merger is consummated on April 1, 2014.

Outstanding Equity Awards

Immediately prior to the effective time of the merger, each outstanding option to purchase shares of North Valley common stock, including options held by executive officers and directors, whether or not then vested and whether or not then exercisable, will be cancelled and the holder of the option will be entitled to receive, subject to any required tax withholding, an amount in cash, without interest, from North Valley equal to the product of (x) the total number of shares of North Valley common stock subject to the option times (y) the excess, if any, of the product of 0.9433 multiplied by the weighted average of the closing prices for shares of TriCo common stock as quoted on the NASDAQ Global Select Market for the 20 consecutive trading days ending on the trading day immediately before the closing date over the exercise price per share under such option. The North Valley board of directors has the right to amend all option plans and agreements governing all outstanding options to purchase shares of North Valley common stock in order to make them fully vested and exercisable before the date of the merger, and to permit option holders to exercise their options for North Valley common stock before the date on which their options would otherwise terminate.

 

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Summary Tables

The following table shows, for each executive officer, as of April 1, 2014, assuming merger consideration of $26.46 per share, (i) the number of shares of North Valley common stock subject to vested options held by such officer, (ii) the cash consideration that such officer will receive for such vested North Valley stock options upon completion of the merger, (iii) the number of shares of North Valley common stock subject to unvested North Valley stock options held by such officer, (iv) the cash consideration that such officer will receive for such unvested North Valley stock options upon completion of the merger, (v) the total consideration that such officer will receive for all unvested North Valley equity awards upon completion of the merger, and (vi) the total consideration that such officer will receive for all outstanding North Valley equity awards upon completion of the merger.

Executive Officer Table

 

Named Executive Officers

   Number of
Shares
Subject to
Vested
Options
(#)
     Cash-Out
Payment
for Vested
Options
($)
     Number of
Shares
Subject to
Unvested
Options
(#)
     Cash-Out
Payment
for
Unvested
Options
($)
     Total
Consideration
for Unvested
Equity
Awards
($)
     Total
Consideration
for
Outstanding
Equity
Awards
($)
 

Michael J. Cushman

     35,524       $ 147,102         21,059       $ 252,710         0       $ 399,812   

Kevin R. Watson

     12,394       $ 76,645         11,964       $ 147,864         0       $ 224,509   

Scott R. Louis

     8,918       $ 67,681         10,373       $ 130,186         0       $ 197,867   

Roger D. Nash

     10,943       $ 68,999         10,373       $ 130,186         0       $ 199,185   

Gary S. Litzsinger

     9,102       $ 60,809         8,920       $ 113,359         0       $ 174,168   

Leo J. Graham

     12,301       $ 73,212         11,162       $ 138,956         0       $ 212,168   

The following table shows, for each non-employee director, as of April 1, 2014, assuming merger consideration of $26.46 per share, (i) the number of shares of North Valley common stock subject to vested options held by such director, (ii) the cash consideration that such director will receive for such vested North Valley stock options upon completion of the merger, (iii) the number of shares of North Valley common stock subject to unvested North Valley stock options held by such director, (iv) the cash consideration that such director will receive for such unvested North Valley stock options upon completion of the merger, (v) the total consideration that such director will receive for all unvested North Valley equity awards upon completion of the merger, and (vi) the total consideration that such director will receive for all outstanding North Valley equity awards upon completion of the merger.

Non-Employee Director Table

 

Non-Employee Directors

   Number of
Shares
Subject to
Vested
Options
(#)
     Cash-Out
Payment
for Vested
Options
($)
     Number of
Shares
Subject to
Unvested
Options
(#)
     Cash-Out
Payment
for
Unvested
Options
($)
     Total
Consideration
for Unvested
Equity
Awards

($)
     Total
Consideration
for
Outstanding
Equity
Awards

($)
 

Dan W. Ghidinelli

     9,460       $ 85,464         12,000       $ 151,770         0       $ 237,234   

Kevin D. Hartwick

     9,460       $ 85,464         12,000       $ 151,770         0       $ 237,234   

Patrick W. Kilkenny

     5,500       $ 77,890         12,000       $ 153,060         0       $ 230,950   

Roger B. Kohlmeier

     8,740       $ 79,138         12,000       $ 151,770         0       $ 230,908   

Timothy R. Magill

     5,500       $ 77,030         12,000       $ 151,770         0       $ 228,800   

Martin A. Mariani

     8,740       $ 79,138         12,000       $ 151,770         0       $ 230,908   

Dolores M. Vellutini

     9,460       $ 85,464         12,000       $ 151,770         0       $ 237,234   

J. M. Wells, Jr.

     8,760       $ 83,707         12,000       $ 151,770         0       $ 235,477   

 

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Employment Agreements and Change in Control Payments

Each of the named executive officers, Michael J. Cushman, Kevin R. Watson, Scott R. Louis, Roger D. Nash, Gary S. Litzsinger and Leo J. Graham, has an employment agreement with North Valley. Under the terms of their respective employment agreements, all executive officers are entitled to participate in the North Valley Executive Deferred Compensation Plan and the North Valley Salary Continuation Plan (see discussions below), in addition to North Valley stock option plans and all other benefits made available to employees of North Valley generally. Each executive officer is entitled to receive severance pay upon termination of employment without cause in an amount of 12 months of current base salary, except Michael J. Cushman who is entitled to receive 24 months of his base salary plus continued insurance benefits (those costs of which are shared by North Valley and Mr. Cushman) and pro rata share of his annual incentive compensation for the prior year. The employment of each named executive officer is assumed to terminate at the effective time of the merger. Notwithstanding, as provided in the employment agreements, any severance payable due to early termination of employment in the context of a change in control is reduced, on a dollar for dollar basis, by the change in control payments made to the executive officers pursuant to the Salary Continuation Plan. Upon a change in control, and regardless of any termination of employment, each executive officer will be paid a benefit equal to two (2) times (2.99 times in the case of Michael J. Cushman) the officer’s annual compensation (base salary plus average incentive compensation earned by the executive officer in the prior three years) pursuant to the terms of the Salary Continuation Plan (in addition to payment of other salary continuation benefits, as indicated below).

Salary Continuation Plan

The Salary Continuation Plan is embodied in a single written plan document which, effective as of January 1, 2007, consolidated previously existing separate written agreements signed with each of the executive officers (including their individual benefits), consistent with the requirements of Section 409A. The merger will constitute a “change in control” for purposes of the Salary Continuation Plan. The following chart reflects the present value of payments which would be due to the executive officers under the Salary Continuation Plan at the effective time of the merger:

 

Named Executive Officer

   Value of
Salary
Continuation
Plan
Payments

($)
 

Michael J. Cushman

   $ 2,800,608   

Kevin R. Watson

   $ 1,103,284   

Scott R. Louis

   $ 536,800   

Roger D. Nash

   $ 530,951   

Gary S. Litzsinger

   $ 411,189   

Leo J. Graham

   $ 1,935,776   

North Valley has purchased life insurance policies in order to provide for payment of its obligations under the plan, but the executive officers have no rights under the plan beyond those of a general creditor.

 

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Executive Deferred Compensation Plan

The North Valley Executive Deferred Compensation Plan is a nonqualified executive benefit plan in which the executive officers voluntarily elect to defer some or all of their respective current compensation in exchange for North Valley’s promise to pay a deferred benefit. The deferred compensation is credited with interest under the plan and the accrued liability is paid to the executive at retirement. North Valley has purchased life insurance policies in order to provide for payment of its obligations under the plan, but the executive has no rights under the plan beyond those of a general creditor. The plan is embodied in a single written plan document which, effective as of January 1, 2007, consolidated previously existing separate written agreements signed with each of the executive officers (including their individual benefits), consistent with the requirements of Section 409A. The plan includes provisions that indicate the benefits to be provided at retirement or in the event of death, disability, or termination of employment prior to retirement. The payment of benefits is accelerated upon a change in control if that had been elected by the executive, and otherwise will be paid by TriCo following the effective time of the merger in a lump sum or in installments, in each case according to the election made by each executive.

Director Deferred Fee Plan

The North Valley Director Deferred Fee Plan is a nonqualified director benefit plan in which non-employee directors may elect to defer some or all of their current fees in exchange for North Valley’s promise to pay a deferred benefit. The deferred fees are credited with interest under the plan and the accrued liability is paid to the director at retirement. North Valley has purchased life insurance policies in order to provide for payment of its obligations under the plan, but the director has no rights under the plan beyond those of a general creditor, except that North Valley has entered into a split dollar agreement with Kevin D. Hartwick and J.M. Wells, Jr. in connection with the life insurance policies obtained on each of their lives. The plan is embodied in a single written plan document which, effective as of January 1, 2008, consolidates previously existing separate written agreements signed with each of the non-employee directors (including their individual benefits), consistent with the requirements of Section 409A. The plan includes provisions that indicate the benefits to be provided at retirement or in the event of death, disability, or termination of board membership prior to retirement. The payment of benefits is accelerated upon a change in control if that had been elected by the director, and otherwise will be paid by TriCo following the effective time of the merger in a lump sum or in installments, in each case according to the election made by each director.

Indemnification and Insurance

TriCo has agreed to indemnify the directors and officers of North Valley for six (6) years against all losses, claims, damages, costs, expenses (including attorneys’ fees), liabilities and judgments or amounts that are paid in settlement of or in connection with any claim, action, suit, proceeding or investigation, whether civil, criminal or administrative, arising out of matters existing or occurring at or before the effective time of the merger, whether asserted or claimed before, at or after the effective time of the merger, arising in whole or in part out of or pertaining to the fact that he or she was acting in his or her capacity as a director or officer of North Valley or its subsidiaries, to the fullest extent permitted by applicable laws.

TriCo has also agreed to cause the persons serving as directors and officers of North Valley and its subsidiaries immediately prior to the effective time of the merger to be covered for a period of six (6) years by a directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policy, not less advantageous than North Valley’s current policy, with respect to acts and omissions committed by such directors and officers in their capacities as such prior to the effective time of the merger.

Merger-Related Compensation for North Valley’s Named Executive Officers

In accordance with Item 402(t) of Regulation S-K, the table below sets forth the estimated amounts of compensation and benefits that each named executive officer of North Valley could receive that are based on or otherwise relate to the merger. These amounts have been calculated assuming that the merger is consummated on []. Please see the section entitled “The Merger—Interests of North Valley Directors and Executive Officers in the Merger” beginning on page 72 for further information about the applicable compensation and benefits. These estimated amounts are based on multiple assumptions that may or may not actually occur, including assumptions

 

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described in this joint proxy statement/prospectus. Some of these assumptions are based on information not currently available and, as a result, the actual amounts, if any, to be received by a named executive officer may differ from the amounts set forth below.

Golden Parachute Compensation

 

Named Executive Officer

   Cash
($)(1)
     Equity
($)(2)
     Pension/NQDC
($)(3)
     Total
($)(4)(5)
 

Michael J. Cushman

   $ 1,335,676       $ 252,710       $ 0       $ 1,353,255   

Kevin R. Watson

   $ 563,735       $ 147,864       $ 147,582       $ 859,181   

Scott R. Louis

   $ 464,275       $ 130,186       $ 53,680       $ 648,141   

Roger D. Nash

   $ 470,941       $ 130,186       $ 0       $ 601,127   

Gary S. Litzsinger

   $ 394,880       $ 113,359       $ 41,119       $ 549,358   

Leo J. Graham

   $ 516,361       $ 138,956       $ 0       $ 655,317   

 

(1) Cash.

Cash amounts reflect change in control amounts paid pursuant to the Salary Continuation Plan.

 

(2) Equity.

Represents the value of the aggregate consideration to be paid in respect of unvested in-the-money North Valley stock options upon consummation of the merger, assuming merger consideration of $26.46 per share, as described in greater detail above in the section entitled “The Merger—Interests of North Valley Directors and Executive Officers in the Merger—Outstanding Equity Awards” beginning on page 72 and as quantified in the “Cash-Out Payment For Unvested Options” column of the Executive Officer Table on page 73.

 

(3) Pension/NQDC.

Value of pension/nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) reflects the present value of payments which would be due, solely as a result of the change in control, to the executive officers as salary continuation payments under the Salary Continuation Plan. The present values of the benefits were determined using a discount rate and mortality assumption as required by the terms of the Plan.

 

(4) Total.

Represents for each named executive officer, the amounts which are payable as a single trigger (i.e., conditioned solely on the occurrence of a change in control). None are double trigger (i.e., amounts requiring the occurrence of an additional event). The amounts in the “Total” column are all single trigger payment amounts.

 

(5) 280G Limit.

The total amount for Michael J. Cushman was reduced by $235,131, because the total exceeded the threshold set forth in section 280G of the Internal Revenue Code.

Summary of Payments of Merger-Related Compensation

The cash amounts to be paid to the executive officers described in the table and footnotes above will be paid in lump sum by North Valley immediately prior to the effective time of the merger.

 

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The equity amounts to be paid to the executive officers described in the table and footnotes above will be paid in lump sum by North Valley immediately prior to the effective time of the merger conditioned upon the cancellation of option agreements held by the executive officers.

The pension/NQDC amounts to be paid to the executive officers described in the table and footnotes above will be paid either in a lump sum by North Valley immediately prior to the effective time of the merger, or in installments paid by TriCo following the effective time of the merger, in each case according to the election made by each executive under the Salary Continuation Plan. Messrs. Cushman, Watson, Litzsinger and Graham have elected to receive a lump sum payment. Messrs. Louis and Nash have elected to receive installment payments, except Mr. Nash elected a lump sum if his termination is due to normal retirement. The payment (or commencement of payments) is subject to a six-month delay as necessary to comply with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A.

As a condition to consummation of the merger, Mr. Cushman has signed and delivered to TriCo a non-solicitation and confidentiality agreement which may not be revoked prior to the effective time of the merger. The agreement will remain in effect for twenty-four months following the effective time of the merger. The agreement includes provisions permitting TriCo to seek remedies for breach by Mr. Cushman, including injunctive relief and specific performance.

Regulatory Approvals Required for the Merger

Completion of the merger and the bank merger is subject to the receipt of all approvals required to complete the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement from the Federal Reserve Board, FDIC and the Department of Business Oversight and the expiration of any applicable statutory waiting periods in each case subject to the condition that none of the approvals shall contain any “burdensome condition.” The merger agreement defines a “burdensome condition” to mean any condition that the TriCo board of directors determines in good faith would, or would be reasonably likely to, individually or in the aggregate, have a material adverse effect on the surviving corporation (assuming for this purpose that the surviving corporation consists of TriCo and North Valley and their respective subsidiaries, taken as a whole), other than a disposition of one or more branch offices of TriCo or North Valley in a geographic banking market. Each of TriCo and North Valley have agreed to take all actions that are necessary, proper and advisable in connection with obtaining all regulatory approvals, and have agreed to fully cooperate with the other in the preparation and filing of the applications and other documents necessary to complete the transactions contemplated by the merger. TriCo and its subsidiaries and North Valley and its subsidiaries have filed, or are in the process of filing, applications and notifications to obtain these regulatory approvals.

Although the parties currently believe they should be able to obtain all required regulatory approvals, they cannot be certain when or if they will obtain them or, if obtained, whether they will contain terms, conditions or restrictions not currently contemplated that will be detrimental to the combined company after the completion of the merger or will contain a materially burdensome regulatory condition.

Federal Regulatory Applications

Merger of TriCo and North Valley

TriCo is a bank holding company under Section 3 of the BHC Act. Section 3(a) of the BHC Act generally requires the prior approval of the Federal Reserve Board for any bank holding company to merge with any other bank holding company or to acquire direct or indirect ownership or control over more than 5 percent of the voting shares of a bank. TriCo will either file an application to merge with North Valley and acquire control of North Valley Bank or request confirmation from the Federal Reserve Board that no application is required under Section 3 of the BHC Act for the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement. Among the factors which must be considered by the Federal Reserve Board in approving such applications are: (1) the effect of the proposed acquisition on competition, (2) the financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the companies and banks concerned, including whether current and projected capital positions and levels of indebtedness conform to standards and policies established by the Federal Reserve Board and the records of the applicants and banks in compliance with laws and regulations, (3) the convenience and needs of the community to be served, including the records of performance of the banks concerned under the Community Reinvestment Act, (4) the effectiveness of the companies and banks concerned in combatting money laundering activities, and (5) the extent to which a proposed

 

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acquisition or merger would result in greater or more concentrated risks to the stability of the United States banking or financial system. In connection with such a review, the Federal Reserve Board will provide an opportunity for public comment on the application and is authorized to hold a public meeting or other proceeding if it determines such meeting or other proceeding would be appropriate.

Merger of Tri Counties Bank and North Valley Bank

Because Tri Counties Bank is a state nonmember bank, prior approval to merge North Valley Bank with and into Tri Counties Bank is required from the FDIC, pursuant to Section 18(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, which we refer to as the Bank Merger Act. In evaluating an application filed under the Bank Merger Act, the FDIC is required to take into consideration (1) the competitive impact of the proposed transactions, (2) financial and managerial resources and future prospects of the banks party to the merger, (3) the convenience and needs of the communities served by the banks and their compliance with the Community Reinvestment Act, (4) the banks’ effectiveness in combating money-laundering activities, and (5) the extent to which the proposed transactions would result in greater or more concentrated risks to the stability of the U.S. banking or financial system. In connection with its review under the Bank Merger Act, the FDIC provides an opportunity for public comment on the application for the bank mergers and is authorized to hold a public meeting or other proceeding if it determines that would be appropriate.

Approval of the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement by the Federal Reserve Board under the BHC Act and/or by the FDIC under the Bank Merger Act generally may not be completed until expiration of a 30 day “waiting period” after the approvals, during which time the Department of Justice may challenge the transaction on antitrust grounds. With the approval of the Federal Reserve Board and/or the FDIC, and the concurrence of the Department of Justice, the waiting period may be reduced to no less than 15 calendar days after the date of the Federal Reserve or FDIC approval. The commencement of an antitrust action would stay the effectiveness of such an approval unless a court specifically ordered otherwise. In reviewing the merger, the Department of Justice could analyze the merger’s effect on competition differently than the Federal Reserve Board and/or the FDIC, and thus it is possible that the Department of Justice could reach a different conclusion than the Federal Reserve Board and/or the FDIC does regarding the effects of the proposed transactions on competition. A determination by the Department of Justice not to object to the merger may not prevent the filing of antitrust actions by private persons or state attorneys general.

California Department of Business Oversight Application

The prior approval of the Department of Business Oversight is required under Section 4880 et seq. of the California Financial Code to merge North Valley Bank with and into Tri Counties Bank. In reviewing the proposed merger of North Valley Bank with and into Tri Counties Bank, the Department of Business Oversight will consider (1) the competitive impact of the merger, (2) the adequacy of the surviving depository corporation’s shareholders’ equity and financial condition, (3) whether the directors and executive officers of the surviving depository institution will be satisfactory, (4) whether the surviving depository corporation will afford reasonable promise of successful operation and whether it is reasonable to believe that the surviving depository corporation will be operated in a safe and sound manner and in compliance with all applicable laws, and (5) whether the merger is fair, just and equitable to the disappearing depository corporation and the surviving depository corporation.

California Financial Code Section 1251 provides that no person shall acquire direct or indirect control of a California bank without the prior approval of the Department of Business Oversight. TriCo will submit a request for an order of exemption from the application and approval requirements of Section 1251 for the merger, whereby TriCo would acquire indirect control of North Valley Bank, based on a finding by the Department of Business Oversight that the requirements of Section 1251 are not necessary given the submission of the application for the bank merger and provided that North Valley Bank will be immediately merged with and into Tri Counties Bank after the merger. If the Department of Business Oversight did not grant an exemption, then TriCo would also be required to obtain prior approval for TriCo to acquire control of North Valley Bank in the merger. In reviewing the application, the Department of Business Oversight would consider the same factors set forth above for the application to the Department of Business Oversight for the bank merger.

 

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Additional Regulatory Approvals, Notices and Filings-Potential Challenges

Additional notifications, filings and/or applications will be submitted to various other federal and state regulatory authorities and self-regulatory organizations in connection with the merger.

Although TriCo and North Valley expect to obtain the required regulatory approvals, there can be no assurances as to if, or when, these regulatory approvals will be obtained, the terms and conditions on which the approvals may be granted, or whether there will be litigation challenging such approvals. There can likewise be no assurances that U.S. or state regulatory authorities will not attempt to challenge the merger on antitrust grounds or for other reasons, or, if such a challenge is made, as to the result of any such challenge.

Accounting Treatment

In accordance with current accounting guidance, the merger will be accounted for using the acquisition method. The result of this is that (a) the recorded assets and liabilities of TriCo will be carried forward at their recorded amounts, (b) TriCo’s historical operating results will be unchanged for the prior periods being reported on and (c) the assets and liabilities of North Valley will be adjusted to fair value at the date of the merger. In addition, all identified intangibles will be recorded at fair value and included as part of the net assets acquired. The amount by which the purchase price, consisting of the value of shares of TriCo common stock to be issued to former North Valley shareholders and cash to be paid in lieu of fractional shares and to former option holders, exceeds the fair value of the net assets including identifiable intangibles of North Valley at the merger date will be reported as goodwill. In accordance with current accounting guidance, goodwill is not amortized and will be evaluated for impairment annually. Identified intangibles will be amortized over their estimated lives. Further, the acquisition method of accounting results in the operating results of North Valley being included in the operating results of TriCo beginning from the date of completion of the merger.

Public Trading Markets

TriCo common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “TCBK.” North Valley common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “NOVB.” Upon completion of the merger, North Valley common stock will be delisted from the NASDAQ Global Select Market and thereafter will be deregistered under the Exchange Act. The TriCo common stock issuable in the merger will be listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

Exchange of Shares in the Merger

TriCo will appoint Computershare Trust Company, N.A. as exchange agent to handle the exchange of shares of North Valley common stock for shares of TriCo common stock. As promptly as practicable after the effective time, the exchange agent will send to each holder of record of North Valley common stock at the effective time who holds shares of North Valley common stock in certificated form a letter of transmittal and instructions for effecting the exchange of North Valley common stock certificates for the merger consideration the holder is entitled to receive under the merger agreement. Upon surrender of stock certificates for cancellation along with the executed letter of transmittal and other documents described in the instructions, a North Valley shareholder will receive any whole shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive based on the exchange ratio and cash in lieu of any fractional shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive. After the effective time, North Valley will not register any transfers of shares of North Valley common stock.

Upon consummation of the merger, uncertificated shares of North Valley common stock held in book-entry form will be automatically converted into whole shares of TriCo common stock in book-entry form, based on the exchange ratio, and the exchange agent will deliver to holders of book-entry shares cash in lieu of any fractional shares of TriCo common stock such holder is entitled to receive.

TriCo shareholders need not take any action with respect to their stock certificates or book-entry shares of TriCo common stock.

 

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THE MERGER AGREEMENT

The following is a summary of the material terms and conditions of the merger agreement. This summary does not purport to be complete and may not contain all of the information about the merger agreement that is important to you. This summary is qualified in its entirety by reference to the merger agreement, a copy of which is attached as Appendix A to, and incorporated by reference into, this joint proxy statement/prospectus. The rights and obligations of the parties are governed by the express terms and conditions of the merger agreement and not by this summary or any other information contained in this joint proxy statement/prospectus. You are urged to read the merger agreement carefully and in its entirety before making any decisions regarding the merger.

Effects of the Merger

The merger agreement provides for the merger of North Valley with and into TriCo, with TriCo surviving the merger. The merger agreement provides that the articles of incorporation and the bylaws of TriCo as in effect immediately prior to the merger will be the articles of incorporation and bylaws of the surviving company.

As a result of the merger, there will no longer be any publicly held shares of North Valley common stock. North Valley shareholders will only participate in the surviving company’s future earnings and potential growth through their ownership of TriCo common stock. All of the other incidents of direct ownership of North Valley common stock, such as the right to vote on certain corporate decisions, to elect directors and to receive dividends and distributions from North Valley, will be extinguished upon completion of the merger. All of the property, rights, privileges and powers of TriCo and North Valley will vest in the surviving company, and all claims, obligations, liabilities, debts and duties of TriCo and North Valley will become the claims, obligations, liabilities, debts and duties of the surviving company.

Effective Time of the Merger

The merger agreement provides that the merger will be consummated no later than three business days after the satisfaction or waiver of all the closing conditions, including the receipt of all regulatory and shareholder approvals and after the expiration of all regulatory waiting periods, unless extended by mutual agreement of TriCo and North Valley. The merger will be consummated legally at the time the agreement of merger has been duly filed with the Secretary of State of the State of California or at such later time as may be specified in the agreement of merger. As of the date of this document, the parties expect that the merger will be effective in the third quarter of 2014. However, there can be no assurance as to when or if the merger will occur.

If the merger is not completed by the close of business on January 21, 2015, the merger agreement may be terminated by either North Valley or TriCo, unless the failure of the closing to occur by such date is due to the failure of the party seeking to terminate the merger agreement to perform or observe the covenants and agreements of such party set forth in the merger agreement.

For a description of the transaction structure, merger consideration and treatment of North Valley stock options, please see the section entitled “The Merger—Terms of the Merger” beginning on page 40.

Covenants and Agreements

Conduct of Businesses Prior to the Completion of the Merger. North Valley has agreed that prior to the effective time of the merger, it will generally conduct its business, and cause its subsidiaries to conduct their respective businesses in the usual, regular and ordinary course in substantially the same manner as previously conducted (except to the extent expressly provided otherwise in the merger agreement, or as consented to in writing by TriCo). North Valley will further cause its subsidiaries to pay all of debts and taxes when due, pay or perform its other obligations when due, and use its commercially reasonable efforts consistent with past practice and policies to preserve intact its present business organizations, keep available the services of its present officers and key employees and preserve its relationships with customers, suppliers, distributors, licensors, licensees, and others having business dealings with it, to the end that its goodwill and ongoing businesses shall be unimpaired at the closing. North Valley agreed to promptly notify TriCo of any event not in the ordinary course of its or any

 

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subsidiary’s business, and of any event which, individually or in the aggregate with any other events, would reasonably be expected to cause any of the conditions to closing the merger not to be satisfied. Further, North Valley agreed that it and each if its subsidiaries will use their commercially reasonable efforts to assure that each of their material contracts (other than with TriCo) entered into prior to the merger will not require the procurement of any consent, waiver or novation or provide for any change in the obligations of any party in connection with, or terminate as a result of the consummation of, the merger or the bank merger, and shall give reasonable advance notice to TriCo prior to allowing any material contract or right thereunder to lapse or terminate by its terms.

North Valley agreed that it and each of its subsidiaries will maintain each of its leased premises in accordance with the terms of the applicable lease and they will comply in all material respects with all laws applicable to them or to the operation of their business, including all applicable bank secrecy laws, fair lending laws and other laws relating to discriminatory business practices, and maintain their existing training programs for executive and lending staffs. North Valley further agreed to facilitate the assumption by TriCo of North Valley’s trust preferred securities.

In addition to the general covenants above, North Valley has agreed that prior to the effective time of the merger, subject to specified exceptions, it will not, and will not permit its subsidiaries to, without the prior written consent of TriCo:

 

    declare or pay any dividends on, or make other distributions in respect of, any of its capital stock, provided however, that North Valley Bank may pay cash dividends or distributions to North Valley for the purpose of enabling North Valley to pay interest on its junior subordinated debt securities and to pay its ordinary operating expenses, in each case in accordance with past practices and as they become due;

 

    split, combine or reclassify any shares of its capital stock or issue, authorize or propose the issuance of any other securities in respect of, in lieu of or in substitution for shares of its capital stock, except upon the exercise or fulfillment of North Valley stock options issued and outstanding;

 

    repurchase, redeem or otherwise acquire (except in partial or complete satisfaction of debts previously contracted or upon the forfeiture of outstanding restricted stock or the exercise or fulfillment of North Valley stock options) any shares of the capital stock of North Valley or any North Valley subsidiaries, or any securities convertible into or exercisable for any shares of the capital stock of North Valley or any North Valley subsidiaries;

 

    issue, allocate, deliver or sell, or authorize or propose the issuance, delivery or sale of, any shares of its capital stock or any securities convertible into or exercisable for, or any rights, warrants or options to acquire, any such shares, or enter into any agreement with respect to any of the foregoing, other than with respect to the North Valley stock options;

 

    amend its articles of incorporation, bylaws or other similar governing documents unless required to do so in order to comply with applicable laws or regulations or by regulatory directive;

 

    enter into any written or oral contract, plan, commitment or any other arrangement, which (1) results in or accelerates any payment or benefit becoming due from TriCo, North Valley, any of their subsidiaries or the surviving corporation to any party; (2) contains a non-compete or client or customer non-solicitation requirement or any other provision that materially restricts the conduct of any line of business by North Valley or any of its subsidiaries or, following the closing, TriCo or any of its subsidiaries; (3) is with or to a labor union or guild; (4) that is a material contract; or (5) involved payments by North Valley or any of its subsidiaries in the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012 of more than $75,000 or which could reasonably be expected to involve payments during the fiscal year ending December 31, 2013 or any year thereafter of more than $75,000, other than any (a) such contract that is terminable at will on 60 days or less notice without payment of a penalty in excess of $10,000, (b) deposit liabilities and (c) with certain exceptions, debts for borrowed funds;

 

    make capital expenditures aggregating in excess of $40,000, except for emergency repairs and replacements and those entered into prior to the date of the merger agreement;

 

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    enter into any new line of business;

 

    acquire or agree to acquire, by merging or consolidating with, or by purchasing an equity interest in or the assets of, or by any other manner, any business or any corporation, partnership, association or other business organization or division thereof or otherwise acquire any assets, other than in connection with foreclosures, settlements in lieu of foreclosure or troubled loan or debt restructurings, or in the ordinary course of business consistent with past practices;

 

    take any action that is intended or may reasonably be expected to result in any of its representations and warranties set forth in the merger agreement being or becoming untrue or in any of the conditions to the merger not being satisfied, or in a violation of any provision of the merger agreement or the bank merger agreement, except, in every case, as may be required by applicable laws;

 

    change its methods of accounting in effect at December 31, 2012, except as required by changes in GAAP or regulatory accounting principles as concurred to by North Valley’s independent auditors;

 

    (1) except as required by applicable laws or the merger agreement or to maintain qualification pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code, adopt, amend, renew or terminate any plan or any agreement, arrangement, plan or policy between North Valley or North Valley Bank and one or more of its current or former directors, officers or employees, (2) increase in any manner the compensation of any employee or director or pay any benefit not required by any plan or agreement as in effect as of the date of the merger agreement, (3) except as contemplated by the merger agreement, enter into, modify or renew any contract, agreement, commitment or arrangement providing for the payment to any director, officer or employee of compensation or benefits, (4) hire any new employee at an annual compensation in excess of $60,000, except to fill open positions consistent with past practices, (5) pay aggregate expenses of more than $2,500 per person for employees or directors who attend conventions or similar meetings, (6) promote any employee to a level of vice president or more senior or (7) except as contemplated by the merger agreement, pay any retention bonuses to any employees or any other bonuses or incentives other than pursuant to an incentive plan, agreement, plan or policy of North Valley or North Valley Bank in effect as of the date of the merger agreement and in a manner consistent with past practice;

 

    incur any indebtedness, with a term greater than one year, for borrowed money, assume, guarantee, endorse or otherwise as an accommodation become responsible for the obligations of any other individual, corporation or other entity, in each case other than in the ordinary course of business consistent with past practices;

 

    sell, purchase, enter into a lease, relocate, open or close any banking or other loan production office, or file an application pertaining to such action with any governmental entity;

 

    make any equity investment or commitment to make such an investment in real estate or in any real estate development project, other than in connection with foreclosure, settlements in lieu of foreclosure, or troubled loan or debt restructuring, in the ordinary course of business consistent with past practices;

 

    except as contemplated by the merger agreement, make any new loans to, modify or renew the terms of any existing loan to, or engage in any other transactions (other than routine banking transactions) with, any officer, director or greater than 5% shareholder of North Valley or North Valley Bank (or their affiliates), or to or with any employee of North Valley or North Valley Bank other than loans to employees that are in the ordinary course of business consistent with past practices and in compliance with applicable laws;

 

    make any investment, or incur deposit liabilities, other than in the ordinary course of business consistent with past practices;

 

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    purchase, modify or originate any: (1) loans except in accordance with existing North Valley Bank’s lending policies, and lending limits and authorities; or (2)(a) loans requiring North Valley Bank Executive Loan Committee approval under North Valley Bank’s existing lending policies, (b) loans that are criticized or classified, (c) unsecured consumer loans in excess of $25,000; (d) individual lot loans in excess of $200,000; (e) construction, acquisition or development loans, residential permanent loans, loans secured by special purpose property, including production lines for builders, or certain small business loans, to any one borrower in excess of $1,000,000 in the aggregate; except in each case for loans for which written commitments have been issued by North Valley Bank and are currently outstanding and, in connection with the foregoing prohibitions, North Valley has agreed to provide TriCo certain periodic reports and notices;

 

    price or reprice any loans inconsistent with North Valley Bank’s current pricing methodology or, (1) in the case of variable rate loans, at a variable rate that is less than The Wall Street Journal Prime or which adjusts less frequently than monthly or, (2) in the case of a fixed rate loan, at a fixed rate of less than 4.00% per annum or with a term in excess of 5 years;

 

    price, accept, renew or pay any deposits with a rate of interest in excess of the rates permitted by certain federal regulations or materially change the characteristics of North Valley Bank’s deposit portfolio, including deposit types, interest rates and terms offered;

 

    make any investments in any equity or derivatives contract, hedging or arbitrage transaction or covered asset trading activities or make any investment in any investment security with an average life greater than one year at the time of purchase other than obligations of state and political subdivisions;

 

    sell any “held for investment” loans or servicing rights related thereto or purchase any mortgage Loan servicing rights;

 

    take or omit to take any action that would have or be reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on North Valley or that would have or be reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on, or materially delay, the ability of North Valley and TriCo to obtain the approvals required to close the merger or otherwise have or be reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on North Valley’s and North Valley Bank’s ability to consummate the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement;

 

    redeem, amend or waive any provisions of the North Valley rights agreement (other than such actions as are necessary to accommodate the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated hereby, but not with respect to any acquisition proposal) or implement or adopt any other so-called “poison pill,” shareholder rights plan or other similar plan;

 

    except as contemplated by the merger agreement, (1) settle any claim, action or proceeding, except any settlement involving amounts payable by North Valley and/or its subsidiaries less than or equal to $100,000 individually or $250,000 in the aggregate and that would not impose any restriction on the conduct of its business or following the closing, the business of TriCo or its subsidiaries, (2) waive, compromise, assign, cancel or release any rights or claims except as contemplated by the merger agreement, or (3) agree or consent to the issuance of any injunction, decree, order or judgment restricting or otherwise affecting its business;

 

    materially restructure or materially change its investment securities portfolio or its portfolio duration, through purchases, sales or otherwise, or the manner in which the portfolio is classified or reported, or invest in any mortgage-backed or mortgage-related securities which would be considered “high risk” securities under applicable regulatory pronouncements, except in each case as required by law or requested by a governmental entity;

 

    except as may be required by law, make, change or revoke any tax election, change an annual tax accounting period, adopt or change any material tax accounting method, file any material amendment with respect to a material tax return, enter into any material closing agreement with respect to taxes, or settle any material tax claim, audit, assessment or dispute or surrender any right to claim a refund of a material amount of taxes;

 

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    take any action that could, or fail to take any action, the failure of which could, reasonably be expected to prevent the merger or the bank merger from qualifying as a reorganization within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Internal Revenue Code; or

 

    agree or commit to do any of the prohibited actions set forth above.

TriCo has agreed that prior to the effective time of the merger, except as expressly contemplated or permitted by the merger agreement, it will not, and will not permit any of its subsidiaries to, without the prior written consent of North Valley:

 

    take any action that is intended or may reasonably be expected to result in any of TriCo’s representations and warranties set forth in the merger agreement being or becoming untrue or any of the conditions to the merger not being satisfied or in a violation of any provision of the merger agreement or the bank merger agreement, except, in every case, as may be required by applicable laws;

 

    amend its articles of incorporation, bylaws or other similar governing documents unless required to do so in order to comply with applicable laws or regulations or by regulatory directive;

 

    take or omit to take any action that would have or be reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on TriCo or that would have or be reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on, or materially delay, the ability of TriCo and North Valley to obtain the regulatory approvals required for the merger or otherwise have or be reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect on TriCo’s and Tri Counties Bank’s ability to consummate the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement; or

 

    agree or commit to do any of the prohibited actions set forth above.

TriCo also agreed that, prior to the effective time of the merger, it will promptly notify North Valley of any event not in the ordinary course of its or any subsidiary’s business, and of any event which, individually or in the aggregate with any other events, would reasonably be expected to cause any of the conditions to closing not to be satisfied prior to the first anniversary of the date of the merger agreement. In addition, it will not solicit or accept any offer from any third party in the nature of an acquisition proposal for a business combination with a third party, unless the offer is expressly conditioned upon the performance by TriCo (or its successor) of all of its obligations under the merger agreement in a manner such that the value of the consideration to be paid to the North Valley shareholders under the merger agreement is not thereby reduced.

In addition to the general covenants above, TriCo has agreed that prior to the effective time of the merger, subject to specified exceptions, it will not, and will not permit its subsidiaries to, without the prior written consent of North Valley:

 

    declare or pay any distributions on or in respect of any of its capital stock other than ordinary quarterly cash dividends in conformity with past practice, or with respect to Tri Counties Bank, declare or pay dividends to TriCo other than in conformity with past practice and applicable law and for the purpose of enabling TriCo to pay interest on its junior subordinated debt securities and to pay its ordinary operating expenses, in each case in accordance with past practice and as they become due;

 

    (1) split, combine or reclassify any shares of its capital stock or issue, authorize or propose the issuance of any other securities in respect of, in lieu of or in substitution for shares of its capital stock, except with respect to TriCo stock options, or (2) repurchase, redeem or otherwise acquire shares of its capital stock, other than (x) not more than 333,400 shares of TriCo common stock currently remaining available for repurchase under the TriCo stock repurchase plan adopted and announced on August 21, 2007), (y) shares of the capital stock of TriCo or any TriCo subsidiaries, or any securities convertible into or exercisable for any shares of the capital stock of TriCo or any TriCo subsidiaries and shares of TriCo common stock on behalf of the TriCo ESOP; and (z) shares delivered by holders of TriCo stock options in connection with the exercise of such options;

 

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    issue, allocate, deliver or sell, or authorize or propose the issuance, delivery or sale of, any shares of its capital stock or any securities convertible into or exercisable for, or any rights, warrants or options to acquire, any such shares, or enter into any agreement with respect to any of the foregoing, other than with respect to TriCo stock options; or

 

    take any action that could, or fail to take any action, the failure of which could, reasonably be expected to prevent the merger from qualifying as a reorganization within the meaning of Section 368(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Regulatory Matters. TriCo and North Valley have agreed to promptly prepare this joint proxy statement/prospectus and TriCo agreed to promptly file with the SEC a registration statement on Form S-4, of which this document is a part. TriCo and North Valley have each agreed to use their commercially reasonable best efforts to have the Form S-4 declared effective under the Securities Act as promptly as practicable after such filing. TriCo and North Valley have each agreed to furnish all information concerning themselves, their affiliates and the holders of their capital stock to the other and provide such other assistance and cooperation as may be reasonably requested in connection with the preparation, filing and distribution of the Form S-4 and this joint proxy statement/prospectus.

TriCo and North Valley have each agreed to cooperate with each other and use their reasonable best efforts to promptly prepare and file all necessary documentation, to effect all applications, notices, petitions and filings, and to obtain as promptly as practicable all permits, consents, waivers, approvals and authorizations of all third parties and any governmental entity that are necessary or advisable to consummate the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement. Each of TriCo and North Valley agreed to use their reasonable best efforts to resolve any objections or any burdensome condition that may be asserted or imposed by any governmental entity with respect to the merger agreement or the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement.

Shareholder Approval. The North Valley board of directors has unanimously resolved to recommend to the North Valley shareholders that they adopt and approve the merger agreement (subject to certain exceptions if, following the receipt of a Superior Proposal (as defined below), such recommendation would result in a violation of the board’s fiduciary duties under California law), and to submit to the North Valley shareholders the merger agreement, to include the recommendation that North Valley shareholders adopt and approve the merger agreement attached to this joint proxy statement/prospectus, and use reasonable best efforts to obtain from its shareholders a vote adopting the merger agreement. North Valley has an unqualified obligation to submit the merger agreement to its shareholders at its shareholder meeting.

TriCo’s board of directors has unanimously resolved to recommend to the TriCo shareholders that they adopt and approve the merger agreement and approve the issuance of shares of TriCo stock, and to submit to the TriCo shareholders the merger agreement, to include the recommendation that TriCo shareholders adopt and approve the merger agreement and the issuance of shares of TriCo stock in this joint proxy statement/prospectus, and use reasonable best efforts to obtain from its shareholders a vote adopting and approving the merger agreement and the issuance of shares of TriCo stock.

TriCo and North Valley have each agreed to use their reasonable best efforts to hold their respective shareholder meetings on the same date and as soon as practicable after the date of the merger agreement.

Bank Merger. TriCo and North Valley have agreed that, immediately upon closing the merger, North Valley Bank will merge with and into Tri Counties Bank, with Tri Counties Bank as the surviving entity.

NASDAQ Listing. TriCo has agreed to use its reasonable best efforts to cause the shares of TriCo common stock to be issued in the merger to be approved for listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, subject to official notice of issuance, prior to or at the effective time of the merger.

Employee Matters. To the extent permissible under the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA, for purposes of crediting periods of service for eligibility to participate and vesting, but not for benefit accrual purposes, under TriCo plans that are employee pension benefit plans, individuals who are employees (including, but not limited to, those who are on unpaid leave, paid leave and active employees) of North Valley or any North Valley subsidiary at the effective time will be credited with periods of service with North Valley or the

 

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applicable North Valley subsidiary before the effective time as if such service had been with TriCo or a TriCo subsidiary, as applicable. This does not apply (1) for benefit accrual purposes, (2) as would result in the duplication of benefits for the same period of service, (3) for purposes of any “frozen” TriCo plan for which new TriCo employees are generally not eligible or (4) for any newly established TriCo plan for which similarly situated employees of TriCo do not receive service credit for the period in question. The parties have acknowledged that North Valley intends to maintain the North Valley 401(k) Plan through the effective time and to make matching contributions to the North Valley 401(k) Plan on behalf of eligible employees. With regard to participation by the employees who are eligible to participate in the North Valley 401(k) Plan prior to the effective time: (1) such employees will be eligible to participate in TriCo’s 401(k) Savings Plan immediately upon their becoming TriCo or TriCo subsidiary employees as a result of the merger; (2) such employees will be eligible for the employer contributions in the TriCo 401(k) Plan, if any (whether match, profit-sharing or both), with regard to eligible compensation earned by them from TriCo or the TriCo subsidiary following the effective time until the last day of the TriCo 401(k) Plan year that includes the effective time.

To the extent permissible under the applicable provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, ERISA and the applicable TriCo plans, TriCo will or will cause its applicable subsidiary to (1) give credit to employees of North Valley and its subsidiaries, with respect to the satisfaction of the waiting periods for participation and coverage which are applicable under the TriCo plans that are welfare benefit plans, equal to the credit that any such employee had received as of the effective time towards the satisfaction of any such limitations and waiting periods under the comparable North Valley plans that are welfare benefit plans; (2) make reasonable commercial efforts to cause each TriCo plan that is a group health plan (including medical, dental and prescription drug) and that is made available to employees of North Valley and its subsidiaries in the plan year, which includes the effective time, to provide each employee of North Valley and its subsidiaries with credit for any co-payment and deductibles in such plan year paid prior to the effective time in satisfying any deductible or out-of-pocket requirements. Notwithstanding the generality of the foregoing, (1) each employee of North Valley and its subsidiaries who has satisfied the applicable waiting periods for eligibility or participation in any TriCo plan that is made available, in TriCo’s sole discretion, to such employee as of the effective time after credit for pre-effective time service has been given, will begin participating in the TriCo plan immediately after the effective time without the need to wait for any open enrollment periods or plan entry dates; and (2) each employee of North Valley and its subsidiaries who has satisfied the applicable waiting periods for eligibility or participation in any North Valley plan that is a medical plan, dental plan, disability plan or life insurance plan (excepting plans maintained only for a select group, such as executives), will begin participating in the comparable TriCo plan immediately after the effective time; and (3) each TriCo plan that provides severance or vacation/paid time off benefits and that is made available to any employee of North Valley or its subsidiaries who continues employment with the surviving corporation or any of its subsidiaries following the effective time will recognize service with North Valley and its subsidiaries that was recognized by North Valley under the equivalent North Valley plan. For illustration, if an employee of TriCo with 10 years of service is eligible to accrue four weeks of vacation in a calendar year under a TriCo plan, then a North Valley employee with 10 years of North Valley service who becomes a TriCo employee as of the effective time due to the merger will accrue four weeks of vacation with TriCo in the calendar year under such TriCo Plan.

TriCo or one of its subsidiaries agreed to provide severance benefits to those employees of North Valley and its subsidiaries who continue in employment with the surviving corporation or any of its subsidiaries through the effective time and whose employment is involuntarily terminated by the surviving corporation and its subsidiaries without cause at or within 180 days after the effective time (other than employees who are entitled to receive severance payments under any employment, severance or similar plans or agreements) in accordance with TriCo’s current written severance policy as previously delivered to North Valley.

There will be no North Valley ESOP loans nor any unallocated accounts in respect of any North Valley ESOP loans as of the effective time. North Valley will continue to make employer contributions to the North Valley ESOP for each plan-year quarter ending on or before the effective time, provided such contributions are comparable in amount, on a prorated basis, to past employer contributions to the North Valley ESOP.

North Valley agreed to take, or cause to be taken, all actions necessary to cause the fiduciaries of the North Valley ESOP to take all of the following actions:

 

    implement a written confidential pass-through voting procedure pursuant to which the participants under the North Valley ESOP and their beneficiaries will direct the trustee under the North Valley ESOP to vote the shares of North Valley common stock allocated to their North Valley ESOP accounts with respect to the merger;

 

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    provide the North Valley ESOP participants and their beneficiaries with a written notice regarding the existence of and provisions for such confidential pass-through voting procedures, as well as the same written materials to be provided to the shareholders of North Valley in connection with the merger;

 

    take any and all additional actions necessary to satisfy the requirements of ERISA applicable to the North Valley ESOP fiduciaries in connection with the merger.

If requested by TriCo, North Valley agreed to take all necessary action to terminate, effective as of no later than immediately prior to the closing date, the North Valley ESOP. The termination of the North Valley ESOP will be adopted conditioned upon the closing of the merger and upon receiving a favorable determination letter from the IRS with regard to certain matters. If requested by TriCo, North Valley agreed to take all necessary action, effective no later than the last day of the regularly scheduled payroll period immediately preceding the closing date, to freeze all contributions to the North Valley ESOP. As soon as administratively feasible after the effective time, at the election of TriCo, the North Valley ESOP will be merged with and into the TriCo ESOP.

Effective no later than the last day of the regularly scheduled payroll period immediately preceding the closing date, North Valley will freeze contributions to the North Valley 401(k) Plan and effective no later than the day before the closing date, North Valley will terminate the North Valley 401(k) Plan.

With certain exceptions, North Valley will terminate, in accordance with its terms and applicable laws, effective prior to the closing date, each North Valley plan providing for group health, dental, vision, prescription drugs or other welfare benefit coverage to any former employees, officers, directors or consultants and/or their spouses and other dependents. At the request of TriCo, North Valley will terminate or discontinue accruals under any and all other North Valley plans, effective either immediately before the closing date or thereafter as specified by TriCo.

The merger agreement specifies that none of its provisions should be interpreted or construed to confer upon any employee of North Valley or any of its subsidiaries who continues to be employed by the surviving corporation or any of its subsidiaries after the effective time with any right with respect to continuance of employment by or other service with the surviving corporation or any of its subsidiaries. Nor does the merger agreement interfere in any way with the right of the surviving corporation and its subsidiaries to terminate the employment or other association of any person at any time. The terms of the merger agreement do not constitute an amendment of, or interfere in any way with the right of the surviving corporation and its subsidiaries to amend, terminate or otherwise discontinue, any or all TriCo plans and any other plans, practices or policies of the surviving corporation or any of its subsidiaries in effect from time to time.

No provision in the merger agreement creates any right to employment or continued employment or to a particular term or condition of employment with the surviving corporation or any of its subsidiaries nor does the merger agreement create any third party beneficiary right in any person.

Indemnification and Directors’ and Officers’ Insurance. From and after the effective time of the merger, TriCo has agreed to indemnify and hold harmless each any person who, prior to the effective time, is a director or officer or employee of North Valley or any North Valley subsidiary against any losses, claims, damages, liabilities, costs, expenses, judgments, fines and settlement amounts arising out of or pertaining to (i) the fact that he is or was a director, officer or employee of North Valley or any North Valley subsidiary or any of their respective predecessors or (ii) the merger agreement or any of the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement, whether in any case asserted or arising before or after the effective time. TriCo and North Valley agreed to use their commercially reasonable efforts to cause the persons serving as officers and directors of North Valley and the North Valley subsidiaries immediately prior to the effective time of the merger to be covered by a directors’ and officers’ liability

 

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insurance tail policy obtained from North Valley’s current insurance carrier of substantially the same coverage and amounts containing terms and conditions which are generally not less advantageous than North Valley’s current policy with respect to acts or omissions occurring prior to the effective time that were committed by such officers and directors in their capacity as such for a period of six years. The cost of such policy is limited to 275% of the amount currently paid for such insurance annually. If North Valley cannot obtain the insurance, TriCo agreed to use its commercially reasonable efforts to obtain as much comparable insurance as is available.

No Solicitation and Change in Recommendation. North Valley agreed that it and its subsidiaries will immediately cease all existing discussions or negotiations with any person (other than TriCo and its affiliates and representatives) regarding any proposal that constitutes, or would reasonably be expected to lead to, an Acquisition Proposal (as defined below) and it agreed not to (1) solicit, initiate or knowingly encourage any Acquisition Proposal, (2) enter into, or otherwise participate in any discussions or negotiations regarding any Acquisition Proposal, (3) enter into any agreement regarding any Acquisition Proposal or Alternative Transaction (as defined below), (4) furnish to any person any information concerning North Valley, or any access to the properties, books and records of North Valley and its subsidiaries, in connection with any Acquisition Proposal, or (v) propose, agree or publicly announce an intention to take any of the foregoing actions or any other action which would reasonably be expected to lead to an Acquisition Proposal.

However, if at any time prior to obtaining the approval of the shareholders of North Valley to adopt the merger agreement, North Valley or its subsidiaries or their respective representatives receives a bona fide, unsolicited written Acquisition Proposal, North Valley, its board of directors and their respective representatives may engage in negotiations and discussions with and furnish any information and other access to any person making such Acquisition Proposal and its representatives if, and only if, North Valley’s board of directors determines in good faith, after consultation with the North Valley’s outside legal and financial advisors, that (1) such Acquisition Proposal is or is reasonably capable of becoming a Superior Proposal and (2) the failure of the North Valley board of directors to enter into such discussions or negotiations or furnish such information or other access would reasonably be expected to be a violation of its fiduciary duties to the shareholders of North Valley under applicable law.

Prior to furnishing any material nonpublic information to a person who has made an Acquisition Proposal, North Valley must receive from such person an executed confidentiality agreement with terms at least as restrictive in all material respects on such person as the confidentiality agreement between TriCo and North Valley is on TriCo. In addition, North Valley must promptly, and in any event within one business day, (1) notify TriCo in writing of the receipt of such Acquisition Proposal or any request for nonpublic information or access to properties, books or records relating to North Valley or its subsidiaries by any person that has made, or to North Valley’s knowledge may be considering making, an Acquisition Proposal and (2) communicate the material terms of such Acquisition Proposal to TriCo.

The merger agreement precludes North Valley and its board of directors from (1) withdrawing, modifying or qualifying, or publicly proposing to withdraw, modify or qualify, in a manner adverse to TriCo, the recommendation that North Valley shareholders vote to adopt the merger agreement, (2) approving or recommending, or publicly proposing to approve or recommend, to the shareholders of the North Valley any Acquisition Proposal or (3) authorizing, approving, recommending or declaring advisable, or proposing to adopt, approve, recommend or declare advisable, or allow North Valley or any of its subsidiaries to enter into any letter of intent, memorandum of understanding, merger agreement, acquisition agreement, option agreement or similar agreement with respect to, or that is intended to or would reasonably be expected to lead to, any Acquisition Proposal (other than a confidentiality agreement in accordance with the limitations described above).

Prior to its shareholders adopting the merger agreement, North Valley may change its recommendation that its shareholders vote in favor of adopting the merger agreement if (1) North Valley has complied with the obligations described in the merger agreement, (2) the North Valley board of directors receives an unsolicited bona fide, written Acquisition Proposal from any person that is not withdrawn and (3) the North Valley board of directors determines in good faith, after consultation with its independent financial advisors and outside legal counsel, that such Acquisition Proposal constitutes a Superior Proposal (as defined below).

 

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In addition, North Valley may only change its recommendation to shareholders if: (1) the North Valley board of directors determines in good faith, after consultation with its outside legal counsel, that the failure of the North Valley board of directors to take such action would reasonably be expected to be a violation of its fiduciary duties to the shareholders of North Valley under applicable law; (2) North Valley provides TriCo prior written notice at least five business days prior to taking such action, which notice will state that the North Valley board of directors has received a Superior Proposal and, absent any revision to the terms and conditions of the merger agreement, the North Valley board of directors has resolved to change its recommendation to shareholders to vote to adopt the merger agreement, which notice must specify the basis for the change of recommendation or termination, including the material terms of the Superior Proposal; (3) during such five business day period, North Valley negotiates in good faith with TriCo to enable TriCo to make an offer that is at least as favorable to the shareholders of North Valley so that such Acquisition Proposal would cease to constitute a Superior Proposal; and (4) at the end of such five business day period, the North Valley board of directors, after taking into account any modifications to the terms of the merger agreement and the merger agreed to by TriCo after receipt of such notice, continues to believe that such Acquisition Proposal constitutes a Superior Proposal. The merger agreement provides that any amendment or modification to the financial or other material terms of such Acquisition Proposal will constitute a new Acquisition Proposal giving rise to a new five business day response period for TriCo, consequently extending the periods referenced above.

Nothing in the merger agreement will prohibit North Valley from issuing a “stop, look and listen” communication pursuant to Rule 14d-9(f) under the Exchange Act or taking and disclosing to its shareholders any position contemplated by Rule 14e-2(a) and Rule 14d-9 under the Exchange Act, provided that any disclosure under Rule 14e-2(a)(1) will be deemed to be a change of recommendation unless the North Valley board of directors expressly and concurrently reaffirms its recommendation that North Valley shareholders vote for North Valley to adopt and approve the merger agreement.

“Acquisition Proposal” means any proposal or offer (whether in writing or otherwise) from any person (other than TriCo and any affiliates thereof) relating to, or that is reasonably expected to lead to, (1) any direct or indirect purchase or acquisition, in a single transaction or series of related transactions, of any assets or businesses of North Valley and its subsidiaries (including securities of subsidiaries) that constitute 5% or more of North Valley’s consolidated assets, (2) any direct or indirect purchase or acquisition, in a single transaction or series of related transactions, of beneficial ownership (as defined under Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act) of 5% or more of the total outstanding voting securities of North Valley pursuant to a merger, consolidation or other business combination, sale of shares of capital stock, tender offer, exchange offer or similar transaction, or (3) a merger, share exchange, consolidation or other business combination involving North Valley or North Valley Bank, other than the merger or the bank merger (any such transaction described in clauses (1) and (2) an “Alternative Transaction”).

“Superior Proposal” means any bona fide written Acquisition Proposal on terms which the North Valley board of directors determines in good faith, after consultation with North Valley’s outside legal counsel and independent financial advisors, and taking into account all the legal, financial, regulatory and other aspects of such Acquisition Proposal, including as to certainty and timing of consummation, would, if consummated, result in a transaction that is more favorable to the holders of North Valley common stock from a financial point of view than the terms of the merger agreement (in each case, taking into account any revisions to the merger agreement made or proposed by TriCo); provided that for purposes of the definition of “Superior Proposal,” the references to “5% or more” in the definition of Acquisition Proposal shall be deemed to be references to “100%.”

Representations and Warranties

The merger agreement contains representations and warranties made by North Valley to TriCo relating to a number of matters, including the following:

 

    corporate organization, qualification to do business, corporate power, and subsidiaries;

 

    capitalization;

 

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    requisite corporate authority to enter into the merger agreement and to complete the contemplated transactions;

 

    absence of conflicts with governing documents, applicable laws or certain agreements as a result of entering into the merger agreement or completing the merger;

 

    required regulatory consents necessary in connection with the merger;

 

    existing or contemplated cease-and-desist order or other orders, written agreements, memoranda of understanding or similar communications, commitment letters, directives, extraordinary supervisory letters, or board resolutions with or required by regulators or other government entities;

 

    proper filing of documents with regulatory agencies and the SEC and the accuracy of information contained in the documents filed with the SEC, and Sarbanes-Oxley certifications;

 

    conformity with U.S. GAAP and SEC requirements of North Valley’s financial statements filed with the SEC;

 

    absence of undisclosed liabilities;

 

    absence of certain changes or events since December 31, 2010;

 

    compliance with applicable law;

 

    legal proceedings;

 

    taxes and tax returns;

 

    employee compensation and benefits matters;

 

    labor matters;

 

    certain specified contracts;

 

    intellectual property;

 

    insurance;

 

    affiliate transactions;

 

    fairness opinion from financial advisor;

 

    broker’s fees payable in connection with the merger;

 

    accuracy of North Valley information provided in this joint proxy statement/prospectus;

 

    loans;

 

    derivative transactions;

 

    allowance for loan losses;

 

    title to securities held by North Valley and its subsidiaries;

 

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    properties and assets;

 

    environmental matters; and

 

    inapplicability of takeover laws.

The merger agreement also contains representations and warranties made by TriCo to North Valley relating to a number of matters, including the following:

 

    corporate organization, qualification to do business, corporate power, and subsidiaries;

 

    capitalization;

 

    requisite corporate authority to enter into the merger agreement and to complete the contemplated transactions;

 

    absence of conflicts with governing documents, applicable laws or certain agreements as a result of entering into the merger agreement or completing the merger;

 

    required regulatory consents necessary in connection with the merger;

 

    existing or contemplated cease-and-desist order or other orders, written agreements, memoranda of understanding or similar communications, commitment letters, directives, extraordinary supervisory letters, or board resolutions with or required by regulators or other government entities;

 

    proper filing of documents with regulatory agencies and the SEC and the accuracy of information contained in the documents filed with the SEC, and Sarbanes-Oxley certifications;

 

    conformity with GAAP and SEC requirements of TriCo’s financial statements filed with the SEC

 

    absence of undisclosed liabilities;

 

    absence of a material adverse effect since December 31, 2010;

 

    compliance with applicable law;

 

    legal proceedings,

 

    taxes and tax returns;

 

    employee benefits and compensation matters;

 

    labor matters;

 

    contracts;

 

    intellectual property;

 

    insurance;

 

    affiliate transactions;

 

    broker’s fees payable in connection with the merger;

 

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    accuracy of TriCo information provided in this joint proxy statement/prospectus;

 

    loans;

 

    derivative transactions;

 

    allowance for loan losses;

 

    title to securities held by TriCo and its subsidiaries;

 

    title to property;

 

    environmental liability;

 

    available funds to complete the merger; and

 

    ownership of North Valley shares and agreements in respect of North Valley shares.

Certain of these representations and warranties by North Valley and TriCo are qualified as to “materiality” or “material adverse effect.”

The term “material adverse effect” with respect to TriCo or North Valley, as the case may be, means a condition, event, change or occurrence that has had or is reasonably likely to have a material adverse effect upon the financial condition, results of operations or business of such party and its Subsidiaries, taken as a whole, or materially impairs the ability of such party to perform its obligations under, or to consummate the transactions contemplated by, the merger agreement; except that in determining whether a material adverse effect has occurred there shall be excluded any effect on the referenced party the cause of which is (1) any change in banking or similar laws, rules or regulations of general applicability or interpretations thereof by courts or governmental authorities, (2) any change in GAAP or regulatory accounting requirements applicable to banks or their holding companies generally, (3) any action or omission of TriCo, North Valley or any Subsidiary of either of them taken with the prior written consent of TriCo or North Valley, as applicable, or as otherwise expressly contemplated by the merger agreement, (4 any changes in general economic, market or political conditions affecting banks or their holding companies generally, (5) the impact of the announcement of the merger agreement and the transactions contemplated hereby, and (6) changes in national or international political or social conditions including the engagement by the United States in hostilities whether or not pursuant to the declaration of a national emergency or war, or the occurrence of any military or terrorist attack upon or within the United States, or any of its territories, possessions or diplomatic or consular offices or upon any military installation, equipment or personnel of the United States, unless it uniquely affects either or both of the parties, except that the effect of such changes described in clauses (4) and (6) above shall not be excluded to the extent of any materially disproportionate impact (if any) they have on such party.

The representations and warranties in the merger agreement do not survive the effective time of the merger and, as described below under the section entitled “The Merger Agreement—Termination; Termination Fee” beginning on page 94, if the merger agreement is validly terminated, there will be no liability or damages arising under the representations and warranties of TriCo or North Valley, or otherwise under the merger agreement, unless TriCo or North Valley willfully breached the merger agreement or committed fraud.

 

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Conditions to the Merger

Conditions to Each Party’s Obligations. The respective obligations of each of TriCo and North Valley to complete the merger are subject to the satisfaction of the following conditions:

 

    receipt of the requisite approvals of the merger agreement by the North Valley shareholders and the TriCo shareholders and the issuance of TriCo common stock to North Valley shareholders in connection with the merger;

 

    the absence of any statute, rule, regulation, judgment, decree, injunction or other order that would prohibit or make illegal the completion of the merger;

 

    the receipt of all regulatory approvals required from the Federal Reserve Board, the FDIC and the Department of Business Oversight, in each case required to consummate the transactions contemplated by the merger agreement, including the merger and the bank merger, and all statutory waiting periods in respect thereof having expired; and, in the case of the obligation of TriCo, without any such item containing or having resulted in, or reasonably being expected to result in, the imposition of a condition that would reasonably be likely to have a material and adverse effect on TriCo provided, that the sale, consolidation, divestiture or other disposition of one or more branch offices of TriCo or North Valley in a geographic banking market shall not constitute, or be taken into account in determining the existence of a burdensome condition;

 

    the effectiveness of the registration statement on Form S-4, of which this joint proxy statement/prospectus is a part, and the absence of a stop order suspending effectiveness or proceeding initiated or threatened by the SEC for that purpose; and

 

    approval for the listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market of the TriCo common stock to be issued in the merger, subject to official notice of issuance.

Conditions to Obligations of TriCo. The obligation of TriCo to complete the merger is also subject to the satisfaction or waiver by TriCo, of the following conditions:

 

    the accuracy of the representations and warranties of North Valley as of the closing date of the merger, other than, in most cases, those failures to be true and correct that would not reasonably be expected to result in a material adverse effect on North Valley;

 

    North Valley’s adjusted shareholders’ equity as of the last business day of the month preceding closing being at least $95.074 million;

 

    performance in all material respects by North Valley of the obligations required to be performed by it at or prior to the closing date;

 

    satisfaction in form and substance of all corporate and other proceedings in connection with the transactions and all documents incident thereto contemplated at the closing;

 

    receipt of Shareholder Agreements from each of the North Valley directors;

 

    the timely filing of North Valley’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended on December 31, 2013 with the SEC;

 

    receipt of Non-solicitation and Confidentiality Agreements from each of the North Valley directors;

 

    receipt of resignations from each director of North Valley and each of its subsidiaries;

 

    receipt of a properly executed statement from North Valley Bank that meets the requirements of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act;

 

    receipt of an opinion from KBW that the merger consideration is fair to the holders of TriCo Common Stock; and

 

    receipt by TriCo of an opinion of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP as to certain tax matters.

 

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Conditions to Obligations of North Valley. The obligation of North Valley to complete the merger is also subject to the satisfaction or waiver by North Valley of the following conditions:

 

    the accuracy of the representations and warranties of TriCo as of the closing date of the merger, other than, in most cases, those failures to be true and correct that would not reasonably be expected to result in a material adverse effect on TriCo;

 

    performance in all material respects by TriCo of the obligations required to be performed by it at or prior to the closing date;