Magazine article American Banker

ABN Amro, in Midwest Push, to Buy Mellon Asset-Based Biz

Magazine article American Banker

ABN Amro, in Midwest Push, to Buy Mellon Asset-Based Biz

Article excerpt

ABN Amro North America Inc. continues its push into the Midwest, announcing plans Thursday to buy Mellon Business Credit, the asset-based lending unit of Mellon Financial Corp.

The Chicago-based subsidiary of ABN Amro NV of Amsterdam is expected to close the deal this quarter. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, an ABN Amro spokesman said.

ABN Amro's deal is its latest move to beef up in the Midwest. Last year the parent company announced plans to buy Michigan National Corp. for $2.75 billion in cash. That deal is also supposed to close in the second quarter.

The company also owns LaSalle Bank in Chicago and Standard Federal Bank in Troy, Mich.

Once the deal for the Mellon unit closes, the new subsidiary would be managed by LaSalle Business Credit, a subsidiary of LaSalle Bank and ABN Amro.

Michael Sharkey, president of LaSalle Business Credit, said the deal is logical in terms of building a national presence. "We are always anxious to strengthen our national network," he said in a telephone interview. "This puts us up with the largest asset-based lending companies."

ABN Amro, with $183 billion of U.S. assets, said last year that it would attempt further retail banking investments in the United States, where the company believes it has a sustainable market position. Its biggest push is in the Midwest. "We always look for opportunities," said company spokesman Robert Mau.

LaSalle, for instance, is the second-largest bank in metropolitan Chicago, with $44 billion of assets, and is generally viewed as a steady performer.

The company also bought an investment banking unit, ING Barings, from ING Group in a $275 million deal that closed last month.

At the same time, the parent company has been looking to pare back where it does not see a strong advantage. …

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