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1st City Bancorp Seeks FDIC’s Stake

From Reuters

First City Bancorp Texas Inc. wants to buy the 18% stake in the bank held by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. or help find another buyer for the interest, a move aimed at freeing the bank to proceed with acquisitions.

FDIC, which regulates commercial banks, has held the stake--estimated to be worth up to $100 million--since April, 1988, when the troubled Houston-based bank was rescued with government help and a reorganization plan was put into place.

A. Robert Abboud, First City’s chairman and chief executive since the reorganization, said in a statement that the transaction “would provide us with greater flexibility to pursue our expansion plans.”

But industry analysts say there is little to indicate that First City would fare any better in its bidding for bank assets now under federal control even if it did buy back the FDIC stake.

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“The least of its disadvantages is the FDIC ownership,” said analyst Robert Rieke of the Dallas investment firm Rauscher Pierce Refsnes Inc.

First City officials Wednesday would neither confirm nor deny that the bank planned to submit bids for two remaining Texas banking companies for which federal regulators are seeking buyers.


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