LaSalle's Branches Growing Bank Purchases Comerica Sites in the Suburbs, City

By Roeder, David | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 20, 1996 | Go to article overview

LaSalle's Branches Growing Bank Purchases Comerica Sites in the Suburbs, City


Roeder, David, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: David Roeder Daily Herald Business Writer

Plucking a ripe plum in suburban banking, the parent of Chicago-based LaSalle said Tuesday it has acquired the local operations of Detroit's Comerica Inc.

The deal, for $190 million in cash, puts the 25 offices of Comerica Bank-Illinois in LaSalle's expanding basket of bank and thrift networks. Most of Comerica's offices are in the North or Northwest suburbs.

It also marks the continued consolidation of the Chicago banking market, noted in such events as last year's merger of the First Chicago and NBD networks and the 1994 acquisition of Suburban Bancorp by the Harris banks.

LaSalle, owned by Dutch-based ABN AMRO N.V., has been active in the acquisition game, too. Since 1986, it has absorbed Bank of Lisle, Exchange Bank and the Talman and Cragin thrift networks. Last year, it acquired the Chicago Corp. brokerage.

"I don't think the market is going to allow us to be out of the hunt," said LaSalle National Corp. Vice Chairman Scott Heitmann, who will oversee the Comerica acquisition.

Heitmann said he expects few layoffs among Comerica's 670 employees in the Chicago area. He said any branch closings probably won't occur until late 1997, when Heitmann hopes the separate account system will be combined.

Comerica-Illinois has headquarters at 8700 Waukegan Road in Morton Grove and a LaSalle bank is just across the street. But Heitmann said there are few examples of such overlap.

"We pick up some markets that we're not in, such as Barrington, Lake Zurich, Lincolnshire and a second operation in Buffalo Grove," he said.

Banking experts have considered Comerica a prime acquisition target here. It had significant size but was left behind as competitors added market share and new players, such as Milwaukee's Firstar Corp. …

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