Magazine article American Banker

Dime Wins, Others Wait in Merger Triangle

Magazine article American Banker

Dime Wins, Others Wait in Merger Triangle

Article excerpt

North Fork Bancorp was still waiting late last week for Hudson United Bancorp to say whether it would release its star-crossed suitor, Dime Bancorp, from a promise not to conduct merger talks with other companies.

Meanwhile, a Delaware Chancery Court judge on Friday denied North Fork's request to speed up the progress of a lawsuit that North Fork filed last month asking the court to invalidate the "no-talk" agreement between Dime and Hudson United.

The ruling came in the same week that Dime won a related legal battle with a court ruling that bars Citigroup Inc.'s Salomon Smith Barney unit from acting as North Fork's adviser at least through May 12.

Dime's legal team cheered the ruling as a major victory in its effort to preserve its friendly deal with Mahwah, N.J.-based Hudson United and asserted that North Fork would have a much harder time succeeding in its unsolicited bid without a key adviser.

"It was a knockout punch," said Hyman Schaffer, an attorney for Dime. …

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