Magazine article American Banker

U.S. Bancorp Continues Invasion of S. California: Scripps Would Be Fourth Acquisition in a Year

Magazine article American Banker

U.S. Bancorp Continues Invasion of S. California: Scripps Would Be Fourth Acquisition in a Year

Article excerpt

Extending its march into Southern California through a series of modest-sized acquisitions, U.S. Bancorp signed its fourth area deal in a year and made clear it is far from finished building a formidable West Coast center of operations. Late Tuesday, the Minneapolis-based company announced terms of its latest deal, an agreement to buy Scripps Financial Corp. of San Diego, parent company of Scripps Bank, for stock worth about $155 million. Scripps Financial, with $650 million of assets, operates nine branches in the San Diego area. The $83 billion-asset U.S. Bancorp purchased Peninsula Bank and Bank of Commerce, both in San Diego, and Western Bancorp, which has a presence in the same area and in communities near Los Angeles, all within the past year. "We intend to be a force to be dealt with in California," Philip G. Heasley, U.S. Bancorp's president and chief operating officer, said in an interview Wednesday. The market is one that U.S. Bancorp chairman and chief executive John F. Grundhofer, a California native, knows well and plans to tap. He worked there for Wells Fargo & Co. and Union Bank for roughly three decades. In a recent interview Mr. Grundhofer said that California was extremely important to the company and noted, "In time it could be our largest state by deposits." Scripps, primarily a commercial bank, "will allow us to strengthen our franchise in the important San Diego area," he said in a statement announcing the deal. Scripps also has private banking, trust, and retail operations. …

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