NBD Bancorp and Comerica Start New Round in Battle for Pontiac State

Article excerpt

DETROIT -- NBD Bancorp and Comerica Inc., the two largest bank holding companies in Michigan, have squared off for another round in their long battle for control of Pontiac State Bank of Pontiac, Mich.

On June 6, NBD Bancorp filed suit in U.S. District Court in Detroit accusing Comerica of violating the Federal Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 and of improperly interfering with its pending agreement to acquire the outstanding stock of Pontiac Bank.

The NBD Bancorp suit asked for an injunction that would prevent Comerica from going ahead with a new tender offer for pontiac State Bank's outstanding shares.

A hearing on the suit is scheduled in Detroit on June 13.

Comerica officials, who have successfully tied up the proposed NBD Bancorp-Pontiac State merger in state court since last December, denied NBD Bancorp's charges.

"Generally speaking, these claims are without merit or substance. It represents an attempt to achieve in court what NBD, through their offer, cannot achieve through the marketplace," said Comerica spokesman David Taylor.

Comerica began its latest bid for additional shares of Pontiac State Bank on May 25 by offering $29 per share.

Last year, Comerica had acquired approximately 23.2% of Pontiac State shares for approximately $25 per share in the first round of the tender battle.

The first round ended last July when pontiac State shareholders voted to accept NBD Bancorp's offer of $27.50 per share. That included either a stock exchange or cash.

Pontiac State Bank reported assets of $581 million and net income of $3.8 million at the end of 1983 and operates a network of 20 offices in the suburbs north of Detroit.

Comerica, which had assets of $8.5 billion and net income of $48 million in 1983, vowed to block NBD Bancorp's acquisition after Pontiac State stockholders approved it. …