SEATTLE -- Officials of Rainier Bancorporation, the largest independent commercial bank in Washington, said Monday it has received two takeover offers from out-of-state firms. No details were made public.
David J. Jepsen, company spokesman, refused to identify the bidders, but stock market analysts said Security Pacific Corp. of Los Angeles and First Bank System of Minneapolis were interested in the Seattle-based bank holding company.
'That makes sense to assume that they are,' said Ken Roberts of Foster & Marshall in Spokane. New York-based Citicorp and San Francisco-based Wells Fargo are two other possibilities, Robers said.
Susan Taha, a Security Pacific spokeswoman in Los Angeles said, 'We can't comment on that one way or another.'
A spokesman for First Bank System refused any comment.
Jepsen said he could not elaborate beyond a brief company statement acknowledging the takeover bids.
The statement said each of the proposals offers to exchange the buyer's common stock for Rainier's common stock at a substantial premium over the current market price of Rainier common.
The statement said Rainier officials are currently engaged in discussions with each bidder. The corporation's board of directors is expected to evaluate the proposals at a Thursday meeting and make a decision this week, officials said.
Rainier has been rumored to be a takeover target in recent weeks. Company stock jumped 3 points Friday in heavy trading and opened higher still Monday, which analysts said was prompted by rumors of a bid by Security Pacific.
Michael J. Coie, Rainier executive vice president and chief financial officer, last fall predicted Rainier would become part of the nation's large 'super-regional' banks.
But Coie, in a media seminar, said last November that he was unsure if the bank's future would be self-directed or subject to control by another institution.
Security Pacific, with assets of $60 billion, has been rumored for weeks to be interested in Rainier, the second largest banking company in the state behind Seafirst, which is owned by BankAmerica. Security Pacific is the sixth-largest bank company in the United States.
In November, Security Pacific bought failing Harbor Security Bank in McCleary in southwest Washington, saying it 'wanted a foothold' in the state. First Bank also purchased a failing Washington bank last year.
Experts noted that the acquisitions would allow both Security Pacific and First Bank to make tender offers for Rainier through their in-state banks before a new law takes affect July 1, opening up the state to interstate banking.
Under current law, an out-of-state bank may move in to purchase a Washington bank only if the institution is in danger of failing.
Rainier Bancorporation has assets of $9.2 billion. The company operates three commercial banks, a savings bank and a mortgage company from 221 locations in eight western states and 19 offices in nine countries around the Pacific Rim.
Rainier added 14 new Oregon bank branches to its chain of financial institutions in July 1986 with the acquisition of Lincoln Savings and Loan Association in Portland, Ore.