Magazine article American Banker

Takeover Speculation Adds Pizazz to Bank Shares after Spring Selloff

Magazine article American Banker

Takeover Speculation Adds Pizazz to Bank Shares after Spring Selloff

Article excerpt

Nothing gets the attention of investors like mergers and the prospect of more mergers.

The latest example is Boatmen's Bancshares Inc.'s agreement to acquire First Amarillo Bancorp. in a stock swap valued at about $175 million.

The deal was announced late Friday afternoon, and on Monday, the stocks of other takeover candidates were in the spotlight once again. First Amarillo's shares themselves jumped $6.125, to $26.125, a 30% gain.

Investors Bid Up Integra

In midday trading, shares of Integra Financial Corp., Pittsburgh, were up $1.625, to $48.375. With neighbors like Mellon Bank Corp. and PNC Bank Corp., Integra isn't considered a long-term survivor by many money managers and analysts.

Shares of Constellation Bancorp., Elizabeth, N.J., were up, too, in early afternoon trading before backing off slightly on very high volume. The shares closed up 25 cents, to $10.25. New Jersey is considered a fertile hunting ground for both New York and Pennsylvania banks.

UJB Financial Corp., another New Jersey bank, also drew some interest Monday. UJB, Princeton, has long been the subject of takeover rumors, although it has never publicly acknowledged receiving an offer. Its shares rose 37 cents, to $26.625.

Money managers said the reaction to the merger news was muted at other takeover candidates. But that's probably because investors are still digesting earning announcements, not because of a lack of interest.

Devoted to Takeovers

"Investors are doing their homework, trying to figure out which banks are like to be taken over within the next 12 months," said Sam A. …

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