Latest Deal Would Make Vectra of Denver Colorado's 2d-Biggest Holding Company
Dietrich, R. Kevin, American Banker
Vectra Banking Corp. of Denver took another step toward consolidating Colorado's fragmented community banking industry last week when it announced the purchase of Bank Land Co., holding company for Southwest State Bank.
The deal, valued at $22.3 million and slated to close in the third quarter of 1996, would be the seventh for Vectra since its founding in 1988. The acquisition would increase Vectra's assets to more than $500 million.
Southwest, one of the last major privately held, independent banks in the Denver area, has a solid reputation, thanks to a strong record of customer service and lending to minority borrowers. Founded in 1961, Southwest has assets of $110 million and deposits of $96 million. It earned about $2 million annually in 1994 and 1995.
"It's an excellent bank and there were several reasons behind the deal," said Gary Judd, president and chief executive of Vectra. "It has a very solid history and reputation in this market, it gives us a very prominent market share in a quarter of Denver, which we really weren't serving, and it gives us direct access into the Asian and Hispanic markets, which we didn't have before."
R. Jay Tejera, analyst with Dain Bosworth Inc., Seattle, said the deal will help strengthen Vectra's branch banking franchise.
"True branch banking hasn't been developed in the Denver area yet, but Vectra is continuing to build on that concept," he said. "Vectra will have 12 locations and they're working on a strictly Denver-Boulder strategy, where 60% of Colorado's population resides. …