Magazine article American Banker

Group Headed by Frank to Buy B of A Branches

Magazine article American Banker

Group Headed by Frank to Buy B of A Branches

Article excerpt

An investor group headed by Anthony M. Frank, the former postmaster general and thrift executive, has agreed to acquire 49 branches in Arizona from Bank-America Corp.

With the deal, Mr. Frank returns to the financial services sector as a top player in the Arizona market. His resulting bank will have $2.1 billion of deposits, tying it with Citibank (Arizona) as the state's fourth-largest.

BankAmerica also agreed to sell the new bank up to $1.2 billion of loans. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The deal, announced Tuesday, clears the way for BankAmerica to consumate its merger with Security Pacific Corp. The megamerger is slated to close today.

Mr. Frank will be joined in the venture by California banker Richard W. Decker. The two recently forme d Independent Bancorp of Arizona, a holding company that will charter a bank in Phoenix to carry out the the acquisition. The other investors were not identified.

"This is a vote of confidence in Arizona," Mr. Frank said in a statement. "Our investors believe that the Arizona economy is poised to rebound and are bringing capital here to share in that growth."

Changing Arizona Market

The deal comes just one week after Ohio-based Banc One Corp. announced plans to buy the state's largest bank, Valley National Bank of Arizona.

Mr. Frank, 60, stepped down as postmaster general in February, hinting at the time that he might return to financial services.

By turns engaging and combative, Mr. …

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