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Regulators OK Anaheim Builder’s Offer to Buy S

Times Staff Writer

Anaheim developer James A. Carter’s bid to buy a financially troubled Alhambra savings and loan moved closer to completion Tuesday, but a new suitor--offering more money--waits in the wings.

Carter said Tuesday in a prepared statement that he has received the Federal Home Loan Bank Board’s approval to acquire Progressive Savings & Loan Assn. for about $6.4 million, or $1.50 a share.

He still needs approval from the state Department of Savings and Loan and from Progressive’s nearly 1,000 shareholders--and those shareholders will be weighing a New York firm’s offer of $10 million for enough new shares of Progressive stock to give it control of the S&L.;

Carter said he plans to pump up to $9 million of capital into Progressive after he acquires it.

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According to the bank board, Progressive is a “problem” institution that falls below regulatory requirements for net worth--assets minus liabilities--and liquidity, or cash on hand.

The S&L;, with $525.5 million in assets at the end of last year, lost $7.1 million in 1984 and an additional $2.3 million last year.

Though Progressive’s board approved the merger with Carter last December, it agreed earlier this month to issue new stock and a controlling interest in the S&L; to Greenfield Partners, a New York investment firm, if the deal with Carter falls through.

The agreement with Greenfield was approved because Progressive directors had doubts about whether regulators would approve Carter and whether Carter had the money, said Dennis D. Hill of Los Angeles, an attorney for Progressive.

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Carter, who heads the Spruce Grove Inc. construction company, originally offered $3.40 a share for Progressive’s 4.3 million shares in late 1984 but revised the offer and added a “right of first refusal” clause to the pact after Progressive turned in its huge loss last year.

The refusal clause gives Carter the right to match any competing bids, said one of his lawyers, Andrew Erskine of Los Angeles. Carter, who could not be reached, said in his statement that the clause makes Greenfield’s deal “moot.”

Carter has asked Progressive to call a meeting so that shareholders can vote on his merger proposal, but the board has not yet set a date, a spokeswoman said.


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