Magazine article American Banker

New Jersey's Troubled First Peoples Rejects Buyout Bid, Plans Stock Offer

Magazine article American Banker

New Jersey's Troubled First Peoples Rejects Buyout Bid, Plans Stock Offer

Article excerpt

HADDON TOWNSHIP, N.J. -- the troubled First Peoples Bank of New Jersey said it rejected the unsolicited offer of an investors' group to buy control of the $693 million-asset bank and, instead, plans to offer 505,084 authorized but unissued shares of common to shareholders.

First Peoples is under a cease-and-desist order to raise additional capital to bring the ratio to 7.5%. The ratio at yearend was 5.12%.

The offering, subject to regulatory approvals, would be at $8 a share and raise $4 million. The investors' group offer called for the purchase, at $8 a share, of one million unissued common shares, or 35% of the common, plus enough additional shares to meet regulators' demands.

The group, headed by E.F. (Bud) Hansen, an Ambler, Pa., real estate developer, is "studying our options," according to Jere A. Young, president of HP Investors Ltd., an affiliate of Hansen Properties Inc. He declined to say how much stock was held.

That offer had topped a plan, later scrapped, for an insider group to buy 505,000 shares at $7.75.

Roger Wagner, New Jersey deputy banking commissioner, said that while the $4 million to be raised via the proposed stock sale would not raise enough new capital, the bank planned to seek shareholder approval for additional shares that could be sold to meet the department's requirement.

The proxy statement for the annual meeting April 29 disclosed that Howard Butcher 3d, chairman emeritus of Butcher & Singer, the Philadelphia-based investment house, was the largest single First Peoples shareholder. …

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