Bank of Los Angeles' holding company, apparently making a solid recovery, has its third acquisition deal in as many years.
The company, BKLA, said it has an agreement to acquire $60 million-asset Culver National. The acquisition would provide a presence in Culver City, a Los Angeles suburb just south of BKLA's West Hollywood headquarters.
The buyer's assets would rise to $244 million-within reach of chairman Maurice J. Burford's $300 million goal.
Mr. Burford set that target after his Oregon investment group gave BKLA a capital boost of $3.5 million two years ago. BKLA had suffered two consecutive years of losses and was under the watch of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. at the time of the capital infusion.
Mr. Burford said BKLA needed to grow to be competitive in the Southern California market. After getting the extra capital, it first bought World Trade Bank, which was also in the red, hoping both banks would recover with an economic upturn in the region. And earlier this year it bought American West Bank of Encino, a two-office bank with $65 million of assets.
As BKLA has grown, so have its earnings. They totaled $642,000, or 18 cents per share, in the second quarter, up from $266,000, or 12 cents per share, a year earlier.
"We made more money in the first half of this year than we did in all of 1996," said John J. Feldman, president and chief executive. "We're living up to our expectations."
Mr. Feldman, who was president and CEO of American West, took the helm at BKLA after their merger this month. He said the operations are now fully integrated.
The terms of the Culver National deal are still being worked out, Mr. Feldman said, and BKLA is looking for more opportunities in the Los Angeles area.
John Spence, a Nashville investor who owns more than 94,000 shares of BKLA stock, said he is pleased with the company's performance since the cash infusion and expects it to be an acquisition target itself within five years.
"They do have the place turned around," he said.