Banc of California in Irvine and PL Capital have reached an apparent truce, as the bank agreed to consider letting the activist investor group submit two nominees to next year's board election.
PL Capital submitted two names to the $11 billion-asset company: Richard Lashley, a PL Capital principal, and Thomas O'Neill, a founder of the boutique investment bank Sandler O'Neill, according to a Friday regulatory filing. PL Capital did not provide a timeline for when it expects Banc of California to decide whether to include Lashley and O'Neill on its directors' ballot.
The agreement appears to represent a limited truce between PL Capital and Banc of California, which have squabbled for months over the bank's management. Banc of California "agreed to consider both nominees" after "a series of recent productive discussions" between the two sides on Friday, PL Capital said in the filing. However, PL Capital noted that Lashley and O'Neill "will not become … a party to any agreement, arrangement or understanding with, and has not given any commitment or assurance … as to how he will act or vote on any issue or question as a member" of the company's board.
Banc of California could not be reached for comment.
Lashley locked horns with Banc of California in September over his concerns about the company's naming rights deal for a soccer stadium and alleged conflicts between CEO Steven Sugarman and Sugarman's brother. A Banc of California spokesman told Bloomberg that Jason Sugarman had no involvement with the naming rights agreement.
Lashley in 2014 claimed that Sugarman belittled him during an investor conference. PL Capital last year urged a company director to disclose details about Sugarman's involvement in an investment fund that had violated securities laws.
Banc of California last month postponed filing its 10-Q due to a probe into alleged improper transactions that may have involved directors and senior executives.
PL Capital owns 6.9% of Banc of California's shares. O'Neill, a founding member of Kimberlite Group, does not own shares of Banc of California.