Bank’s Talks About Sale Called ‘Very Preliminary’ by CEO


Despite the news that Ventura County National Bancorp is discussing a possible merger with an unnamed suitor, there’s no assurance that the merger will ever take place. That’s the word from Richard S. Cupp, president and chief executive of the company and its chief subsidiary, Ventura County National Bank.

“These things are start-and-stop all the time,” Cupp says. “The talks are very preliminary, but we feel we owe it to our stockholders to pursue every possible means of maximizing the value of their shares.”

Cupp says there’s no connection between the planned spinoff of Ventura County National Bancorp’s Frontier Bank subsidiary, which was announced last week, and discussions regarding the possible sale of Ventura County National Bank.


Frontier, which has offices in La Palma and Wilmington, is to be sold for about $7 million to Palos Verdes-based Peninsula National Bank. The sale, Cupp concedes, is tied to regulators’ demands that the holding company boost its capital position.

“But there’s been no demand--not even a suggestion--that we be acquired by another bank,” he said. In fact, Cupp said, the bank holding company has come a long way in its struggle to solve its problems of the past few years.

“We’ve reduced the value of our nonperforming loans by about 50% in the past year,” said Cupp, who replaced William E. McAleer as Ventura County National Bancorp’s chief executive in July, 1993.

Much of the reduction came when Ventura County National Bank sold its home mortgage division last May to CUB Funding Corp. of Calabasas.

Ventura County National Bank, with $316 million in assets, has four locations: a main office in Oxnard and branches in Ventura, Camarillo and Westlake.

Ventura County National Bancorp, the parent company, suffered a net loss of $12.1 million in 1993, but reduced its losses in this year’s first quarter to $114,000 from a $1.58 million loss in the same period a year earlier.