Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Banking Companies Merge in Michigan

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Banking Companies Merge in Michigan

Article excerpt

DETROIT (AP) _ The merger of Comerica Inc. and Manufacturers National Corp. was about as friendly as a bank merger could get, chairmen of the two Michigan banking companies said Monday.

And it allowed both institutions, which analysts describe as healthy, to determine their fate without a takeover from outside the state. The resulting bank will have assets of $26.8 billion, placing it among the nation's 30 biggest banks.

The banking industry has seen several huge merger deals this year as bankers seek to trim costs and strengthen their balance sheets in the face of gigantic loan losses. Some industry analysts believe the mergers will weed out excess capacity in the banking system and enable banks to compete more effectively with their peers overseas.

The Comerica-Manufacturuers merger, expected to be completed next spring, will eliminate about 1,800 jobs, ranging from tellers to executive officers. Combined employment is 13,516.

About 500 to 600 people will be laid off and 60 of 348 branches closed in the next two years, most in southeast Michigan where the two overlap frequently.

Both banks have operations in Florida. Manufacturers has a presence in Illinois and Comerica has business operations in Texas and California.

"As we reviewed opportunities for the right partner, clearly Comerica emerged," said Manufacturers Chairman Gerald V. MacDonald, 52, who will be chairman of the merged Comerica Inc. until June 30, 1994.

At that time, current Comerica Chairman Eugene A. Miller, 54, will take over and MacDonald will leave the bank.

"I'm glad it's two Detroit banks and not someone from New York or Chicago coming in and doing this," Miller said. "This is not a knee-jerk reaction to what's been happening" in the banking industry.

The merged Comerica will take a one-time writeoff of $105 million to $115 million for restructuring costs, such as severance settlements and buyouts. …

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