National Australia Bank is considering further acquisitions in the United States after its $1.56 billion purchase of Michigan National Corp., a senior executive for the Melbourne-based bank said Tuesday.
Speaking to a group of banking analysts in a Manhattan hotel, Bruce McComish, chief financial officer for the bank, said National Australia would most likely look to expand in the Michigan market after it has completed the takeover.
"We think the market in the U.S. is heading toward restructuring and that will give us opportunities," the banker said. "Further consolidation in Michigan is inevitable, and we want to participate in it."
He added that the "appropriate size for National (Australia in the United States) would be around $30 billion." Michigan National has $8.7 billion of assets.
In a presentation that was largely dominated by National Australia, Mr. McComish expressed optimism that the deal would be approved by shareholders and regulators "within the next six to nine months."
Speaking at the same presentation, Michigan National chairman and chief executive Robert Mylod defended himself from suggestions that he had negotiated behind shareholders' backs with National Australia and had not informed investors about developments.
"All sophisticated investors know that informal talks take place among CEOs all the time and don't necessarily lead to anything," Mr. Mylod said.
He added that, although talks began two years ago, serious discussions did not start until after Jan. 1.
Mr. Mylod will retain his post as chairman after the takeover but will be replaced as chief executive by Douglas E. Ebert, who is now president and chief operating officer.
Mr. Ebert was inadvertently introduced as "chairman" of the bank by Mr. Mylod, who quickly caught his error but added: "He will be our chairman one of these days."
Mr. McComish said National Australia plans to "make use of local management" but also plans to add about six managers from its own ranks in areas such as credit supervision.