Hanmi Financial Corp., a large community bank based in Los Angeles' Koreatown, is taking a major step out of California by acquiring Central Bancorp, a troubled Garland, Texas, company that also focuses on Asian Americans.
The deal announced Monday, for $50 million in cash, is expected to close in the second half of 2014. It would create a Korean American bank with 51 branches, second in size only to BBCN Bancorp, also of L.A.'s Koreatown.
The merged bank would have the top deposit share among Korean American banks in Texas, Illinois and Virginia, Hanmi Chief Executive C.G. Kum said in announcing the deal.