LOS ANGELES - First Interstate Bancorp dropped its $3.2 billion merger bid for giant BankAmerica Corp. on Monday, saying the sale of assets by BankAmerica had significantly reduced its value.
But First Interstate, which owns First Interstate Bank of Oklahoma NA, didn't rule out the possibility of reviving its offer later at a lower price.
BankAmerica, parent of San Francisco-based Bank of America, is the nation's second-largest bank holding company behind New York-based Citicorp.
``The continuing dismemberment of this institution no longer justifies our current offered price,'' said Joseph J. Pinola, chairman and chief executive of Los Angeles-based First Interstate, the nation's ninth-largest bank holding concern.
``As profitable and strategic BankAmerica Corp. assets are sold, the remaining Latin American debt and other LDC (less-developed country) debt, together with other substantial non-performing assets, become an increasingly larger part of the smaller banking company.''
Non-performing assets are soured loans and foreclosed property that aren't producing income.
BankAmerica had no immediate comment on the action.
First Interstate said it ``will continue to monitor closely the activities of BankAmerica Corp.''
Asked if First Interstate may revive its offer later at a lower price, spokesman Paul Minch said, ``We're not ruling out that possibility.''
Pinola, who once headed BankAmerica's North American division until he left after a dispute with …