Magazine article American Banker

Many Banks Rang out Old Year with Mergers

Magazine article American Banker

Many Banks Rang out Old Year with Mergers

Article excerpt

The waning days of 1992 saw the completion of several high-profile bank mergers and acquisitions that had been set in motion earlier in the year, as well as a number of smaller deals.

None of the transactions approached the size of the multi-billion-dollar Chemical Banking Corp. or NationsBank Corp. megamergers that closed on the last day of 1991, but the yearend flurry will have a significant impact on some states and markets.

Affecting Competition

For example, First Bank System Inc., the second-largest banking company in Minnesota, acquired Bank Shares Inc., the third-largest. The $200 million deal was contested by some consumer and independent banking groups that alleged a prospectively adverse effect on competition in Minneapolis-St. Paul, where the companies are based.

Adding Bank Shares' 22 Marquette Bank locations and $2.1 billion in assets, First Bank System grew to $22.5 billion in assets, with 183 offices in seven states. Within Minnesota, its market share is comparable to that of its archrival, Norwest Corp.

Also on Thursday, First Gibraltar Bank, the Texas thrift controlled by financier Ronald O. Perelman, completed its sale of Sooner Federal Savings and Loan of Oklahoma to two banks.

Bank of Oklahoma, Tulsa, acquired 19 Sooner Federal offices with about $480 million in deposits for $16.5 million. Bank of Oklahoma, once propped up by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in an open-bank assistance arrangement, enhanced its standing as the largest bank in the state, with $2.6 billion in assets. Its parent is BOK Financial.

Meanwhile, Fourth Financial Corp., the parent of Bank IV of Wichita, Kan., acquired nine Sooner offices with deposits of $340 million for $14.2 million.

Other Deals

Among other closings:

* Midlantic Corp. of New Jersey raised $93 million by selling two banks in upstate New York to Onbancorp, a Syracuse-based thrift company that, through a charter conversion, will become a $3. …

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