Magazine article American Banker

Chase Officers and Governor Discuss Deal to Acquire S&Ls

Magazine article American Banker

Chase Officers and Governor Discuss Deal to Acquire S&Ls

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- Chase Manhattan Corp. was near to signing a deal to acquire three Maryland thrift institutions last week, but the company will still need state legislative approval to convert the institutions into commercial banks, its stated intention.

Chase officers met late last week with Maryland's Gov. Harry Hughes, but as of late Friday no agreement had been signed.

Robert D. Douglas, a Chase vice president who attended the meeting with Mr. Hughes, was quoted as saying: "I think there's still plenty of work to be done."

Mr. Hughes said Friday that Chase had not yet made a final offer.

Rumors that Chase has been negotiating to purchase privately insured Maryland thrifts have been circulating since the collapse of the state's private insurance system last May.

The largest of the three Maryland thrifts being bought by Chase is Merritt Commercial Savings & Loan Association in Baltimore, which has $370 million in assets.

Merritt is one of two privately insured Maryland thrifts now in conservatorship.

Merritt went into voluntary conservatorship last May after news of financial troubles sparked a run on its deposits.

At the same time that Merritt went into voluntary conservatorship, the state forced Old Court Savings & Loan Association in Baltimore into conservatorship.

Merritt's problems stemmed from a $34 million Baltimore office building that the company is having constructed. Merritt has been unsuccessfully attempting to sell the building. …

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