Texas Federal Board Meets to Consider Takeover Bids

Article excerpt

DALLAS -- Texas Federal Financial Corp., the second largest savings association in Dallas, held a special all-day board meeting Friday to consider bids for its takeover.

Texas Federal halted trading in its stock Thursday at 11:16 a.m. to announce that it expected to receive at least several takeover offers. The stock closed at an all time high of $36 -- up $2.13 a share -- on Thursday in over-the-counter trading.

In a prepared statement, Texas Federal President Joel T. Williams 3d said that the company "is engaged in discussions with several companies regarding the possible acquisition of Texas Federal."

Last Thursday, Mr. Williams said that Texas Federal expected to receive one of more offers for acquisition "as a result of its discussions."

Mr. Williams declined to name his company' suitors. But financial industry analysts said that two prime candidates are Dallas businessman H.R. (Bum) Bright, and Tracy Taylor, president of Watson & Taylor Cos., a Dallas real estate developer.

Mr. Taylor, the son of Dallas Mayor Starke Taylor, declined to comment. "I've heard my name is out there, but I should not make any comment," he said.

However, at seminar on land investment held last Tuesday at Southern Methodist University, Mr. Taylor said his company was actively pursuing the purchase of one or more savings and loan associations. Because S&Ls are active in real estate financing, Mr. Taylor said a thrift would compliment the operations of a development company.

With assets of $1.4 billion, Texas Federal is the holding company that owns Texas Federal Savings & Loan Association, as well as three title companies -- Hexter-Fair Title Co., Lawyers Title Agency Inc. of Denton, and Tarrant Title Co. of Fort Worth.

Texas Federal Savings & Loan has 37 branches and six loan origination offices, primarily in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and San Antonio.

During the last two years, Texas Federal has opened minibranches in grocery stores in both Houston and Austin. The association also operates 53 automated teller machines through the statewide Mpact network.

Texas Federal, the seventh largest S&L in Texas, has been the object of much takeover speculation since Mr. Bright made an offer for the association in mid-February. Texas Federal officials rejected Mr. Bright's offer of $65 million in cash, or $32.75 a share, as "totally inadequate."

Early Friday, Mr. Bright, a general partner of the Dallas Cowboys ownership group, said he made another offer for Texas Federal, but gave no further details. …