Corporate Merger Gets Wall StreetEndorsement

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CHICAGO - (01/25/06) -- Wall Street rating firm FitchRatings on Tuesday affirmed its ratings for Mid-States CorporateFCU and Empire Corporate FCU, saying the combination of the twocorporate credit unions announced a day earlier should have nonegative impact on the financial condition of the merged entities.The transaction, said Fitch, should provide the combined corporategreater economies of scale and allow it to offer a broader array ofproducts and services to a larger customer base. Following thetransaction, both corporates remain well capitalized, from aregulatory perspective, and the risk profile is relativelyunchanged. Further, the management teams are viewed by Fitch ascapable and both have successfully integrated past mergers, whichshould limit integration risk. Fitch's action follows Monday'sannouncement of a merger agreement between the two corporates toform the second largest corporate, with $8.3 billion in assets andserving more than 2,000 natural person credit unions.

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