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Deadline Missed in Bid to Buy Private Ledger

Times Staff Writer

Boston-based LINSCO Financial Group has failed to complete its purchase of San Diego-based Private Ledger Financial Services from Crown Life Insurance of Canada, according to Crown Life Vice President Jeff Feeney.

The deal was abandoned after the two companies failed to meet a Feb. 6 deadline contained in the sales agreement that LINSCO and Crown Life announced Jan. 5. LINSCO since “has come back with another proposal, but, in the meantime, we’ve gone back and talked to other people who are interested” in buying Private Ledger, Feeney said.

“We’re in the midst of deliberations,” Feeney said. “We hope to be selecting a buyer quickly and closing a deal, or announcing that the company is no longer for sale.”

Crown Life wants to quickly settle Private Ledger’s future “because one problem with having it go along for this long is that everyone (involved) gets very apprehensive,” Feeney said.

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Private Ledger is a San Diego-based company that has organized one of the nation’s largest independent financial services networks. It has about 700 brokers in 352 branch offices in 45 states. Agents are typically independent contractors who sell a variety of financial products, including stocks and bonds, mutual funds, limited partnerships and insurance.

Private Ledger reported a pretax profit of $1.6 million on 1987 revenue of $42.8 million.

Crown announced last year that it wanted to sell Private Ledger, which it acquired in 1984 for $10 million from American Principals Holdings, a now-defunct Del Mar-based investment firm. Private Ledger was acquired shortly after APHI was taken over by a court-ordered receiver at the request of the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to SEC court filings, APHI officials unlawfully commingled investor funds.

Last March, Crown said it was selling Private Ledger as part of its strategy to redirect its energies and capital into its health insurance business.

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“I don’t want anyone to get the impression that we’re going to go for another six months on this thing,” Feeney said. “We want to announce something definitive very quickly.”


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