Magazine article American Banker

Mich.'s North Country Says Would-Be Buyer Backed out of Deal

Magazine article American Banker

Mich.'s North Country Says Would-Be Buyer Backed out of Deal

Article excerpt

The troubled North Country Financial Corp. of Manistique, Mich., has revealed that a prospective buyer pulled out three days after making an offer.

The $453 million-asset company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing Monday that it had signed a letter of intent on Nov. 16 to sell itself. The letter was nonbinding and subject to a number of conditions.

North Country did not name the would-be buyer, nor did it specify the conditions of the deal, but it said that they "might have been difficult to satisfy."

Austin Associates LLC, a Toledo investment banking firm, is advising North Country. Rick Maroney, a managing director and a principal with Austin, said that he could not reveal the prospective buyer's identity. He also said that North Country was considering all of its options for raising capital, including selling branches and assets.

"As far as what's going to happen in the future, all options are open, and we are actively working on them as we speak," he said in an interview on Monday.

A spokeswoman from the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Services said that no application had been filed with the state to acquire North Country.

The offer came three days after North Country had filed its third-quarter results with the SEC. In that filing, it said it had "pursued and expects to continue to pursue the sale of the Corporation to other financial institutions."

North Country also announced in the Nov. 13 filing that it had closed four of its branches in the third quarter and received approval from regulators to close two more. …

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