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Banks, Lenders Do Deals

Recent merger, acquisitions and corporate activity

July 23, 2007

By COCO SALAZAR


photo of Coco Salazar

The banking sector saw several executive appointments in the latest week of corporate activity. And one of a number of pending mergers was kept alive -- though a hiccup in the deal could send a major subprime lender crashing.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis promoted Milton J. Miller II to president and chief executive office. He assumed the new roles Monday, succeeding Brian K. Fike who had served on an interim basis since December, according to an announcement.

Capital One Financial Corp. appointed Lynn Pike, it chief operating officer, to president of its banking business, the Virginia-based company reported. Effective Aug. 6, he will replace John Kanas, the long time chief executive of North Fork Bancorporation Inc. who will resign from the Capital One board of directors that day as well but will remain as an advisor to Capital One's banking business through 2009.

Cowlitz Bancorporation said it appointed Linda Tubbs to serve as chairman for the Cowlitz Bank board of directors. She succeeds John Maring, who retired from the board at the company's annual shareholders meeting in May.

At PNC Financial Group Inc., Diana Reid was named executive vice president and head of PNC Real Estate Finance. She will oversee the division's business units, which specialize in portfolio and secure lending, agency finance, low income housing tax credit equity investments and syndications and commercial mortgage servicing and technology, according to an announcement.

NetBank Inc. recently received a deficiency notice from the NASDAQ Stock Market stating that the company's stock failed to close above the minimum closing bid price of $1.00 per share for 30 consecutive business days, according to a news release. NASDAQ gave NetBank a period of 180 days, or until yearend to regain compliance with the requirement of $1.00 per share. The '' The Atlanta, Ga.-based lender said it intends to use all reasonable efforts to regain compliance with the listing requirements, though there can be no guarantee that it will.

Guaranty Bank said it will engage in a major expansion in Springfield, Mo., a move that comes on the heels of its third consecutive year of double digit growth in earnings per share. The bank plans to open up to 5 full-service banking facilities in the market in the next three to five years, remodel existing Springfield facilities to accommodate its expanded staff, and move certain personnel to a building it has under contract in the area.

On Thursday, PNC announced it will buy Lancaster, Pa.-based Sterling Financial Corp. for $565 million in stock and cash. The merger will give Pittsburgh-based PNC entry into several of the fastest growing counties in Pennsylvania, as well as the No. 1 deposit share in central Pennsylvania.

Wisconsin-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp. will be acquiring First Indiana Corp. in a $529 million deal expected to close either next quarter or in the first next year. The branches of First Indiana Bank, reportedly the largest commercial banker based in Indianapolis, are expected to become M&I Bank branches in the first quarter 2008, according to a press release.

Senior Financial Inc. has inked an agreement to purchase Liberty Reverse Mortgage Inc. for $50 million at closing with potential additional performance-based financial consideration. The acquisition of the reverse mortgage lender is expected to occur next quarter, according to Senior, a venture investment subsidiary of Genworth Financial Inc.

Meanwhile, H&R Block Inc. said some of its creditors have agreed to continue financing Option One Mortgage Corp. until it is sold later this year. Citigroup Global Markets Realty Corp. extended the time for its $1.5 warehouse facility to Option to Oct. 2 from July 31, while UBS Real Estate Securities extended its warehouse facility to Oct. 30.

Citigroup's agreement will cease to be effective if the nonprime lender's sale to Cerberus Capital Management L.P. does not occur before Sept. 30 or if any of its current warehouse providers withdraw or reduce their financing, according to a securities filing.

The acquisition of Option One is expected to close by Oct. 31.

The financing extensions follow an announcement that Lehman Brothers Bank would not renew a $2 billion warehouse financing facility.


Coco Salazar is an associate editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

e-mail: [email protected]


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