Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Application by Buy Local Federal Withdrawn from Topeka Bank

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Application by Buy Local Federal Withdrawn from Topeka Bank

Article excerpt

An application to merge Local Federal Savings and Loan Association of Oklahoma City into an interim thrift owned by the Collier family of Naples, Fla., has been withdrawn by the Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka.

The application, filed with both the Topeka bank and the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, was withdrawn by the Topeka bank because of a policy issue, Kim Gronniger, public information officer for the Topeka bank, said Wednesday.

Attorneys for the Colliers and Local Federal said they did not think the events would affect the proposed $26.8 million acquisition of Local Federal, approved by the thrift's board Dec. 20. The application with the Topeka bank was filed Jan. 31 and withdrawn Friday.

"The actions of the Topeka Federal Home Loan Bank reflected its view that the decision on the change of control application that the Colliers filed should be rendered in Washington at the bank board level, rather than by the Topeka Federal Home Loan Bank," said Charles Allen, Washington counsel for Local Federal.

The Colliers filed the application in both places, said Robert J. Irvin, an analyst and lawyer for the Collier family, because they recognized a procedural ambiguity.

"If the letter sticks (the notification from the Topeka Bank that the application is being withdrawn), we'll have it (the application) updated in Washington," Irvin said.

Asked whether failure to resolve the policy issue would put the merger in jeopardy, Irvin said "I really don't think so."

"We do not think it's a setback. We are planning to refile as soon as possible, and we expect that to be very soon," Irvin said. "We are currently discussing the matter with the appropriate officials at the bank board."

Irvin would not comment on the policy issue in dispute, other than to say the dissention would not affect the structure of the acquisition, nor does it have anything to do with taking the thrift private.

"Without getting into the policy issue that Topeka wanted," Allen said, "it does not relate to the managerial or financial resources of the Colliers or to any problems with respect to Local Federal."

The Colliers, led by real estate magnate Miles C. Collier, began their takeover solicitations on Nov. 8 with an offer to buy Local Federal's outstanding common stock for $15 per share and take the thrift private.

Starting with 7.39 percent of Local Federal's outstanding stock, the Colliers now own 483,061 shares, or 23.48 percent, of the thrift's stock, including an option to purchase 308,461 shares, or 15 percent, of Local Federal's stock. …

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