BankAmerica to Acquire Credit Card Unit
BankAmerica Corp. agreed to buy First Omni Bank from Allied Irish Banks as the biggest Irish bank pulls out of the U.S. credit card business. First Omni will add $623 million in outstanding card loans to San Francisco-based BankAmerica. The transaction is expected to be completed during the second quarter. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. The additional loans will let BankAmerica “leverage its existing credit card infrastructure, capabilities and expertise, while gaining economies of scale,” said Stephen Galasso, president of BankAmerica’s credit card unit. BankAmerica, the third-largest U.S. bank, is among the 15 largest credit card issuers with $10 billion in loans. Its stock fell $3.75 to close at $74.75. Allied Irish’s American depositary receipts fell 75 cents to close at $57.88. Both trade on the New York Stock Exchange.