DALLAS -- BankAmerica Corp. said Monday it has completed the $143 million acquisition of 130 branches of First Gibraltar Bank FSB, doubling its presence in Texas.
BankAmerica, which previously had 130 Texas branches with $3.1 billion in deposits, said the acquisition from financier Ronald Perelman's MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc. makes it among the four largest banks in Texas. The 130 new branches have about $7 billion of deposits.
BankAmerica also is acquiring $200 million of commercial loans, mortgages and construction real estate loans, $600 million of consumer loans and $6 billion in U.S. government securities and other liquid assets.
McAndrews & Forbes, which bought First Gibraltar in late 1988, will operate four First Gibraltar branches as First Madison Bank FSB in Plano, Richardson and McKinney.
Regulators formed First Gibraltar in 1988 from five failed Texas thrifts as part of the government's Southwest Plan to package the assets of S&Ls it had taken over into 15 institutions and sell them to private investors.
As part of that deal, Perelman's group gained more than $1 billion in tax benefits, enabling it eventually to recoup its $315 million investment in First Gibraltar.
The deal enables BankAmerica to continue its expansion following its $4.5-billion acquisition last April of Security Pacific Corp. Analysts believe BankAmerica may try to become the first nationwide bank once it completes unloading Security Pacific's problem assets.
BankAmerica announced last week that Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund L.P. had agreed to buy problem real estate loans and assets with a face value of $1.7 billion acquired in the Security Pacific deal. BankAmerica said it would receive about $1 billion for the assets.
'The addition of First Gibraltar'sbranches gives us a major presence in Texas, which we feel is a terrific consumer and business market,' said Larry McNabb, chairman and chief executive officer of Bank of America Texas. McNabb said retail branch customers will notice few immediate changes to their accounts.
BankAmerica began operations in Texas in May 1991, when it acquired Village Green National Bank in Houston from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. It then bought Commerce Federal Savings Association in July 1991 and Sunbelt Federal Savings in April 1992, both from the Resolution Trust Corp.
BankAmerica, the nation's second-largest bank, reported last week fourth-quarter earnings of $473 milllion, or $1.19 a share, up 66 percent from earnings of $285 million, or $1.20 a share, for the final 1991 quarter.