Boatmen's Information Systems of Iowa announced that it has sold its data-processing center in Des Moines to Fiserv Inc.

Neither party would comment on the amount of the sale, but industry analysts place the transaction at under $10 million.

Fiserv has been providing the services to the data-processing center for the last nine months through a facilities-management agreement with Boatmen's.

Boatmen's Information Systems is a division of Boatmen's Bancshares of Iowa Inc. which is a subsidiary of Boatmen's Bancshares Inc.

A 'Transparent Transaction'

Oliver Hagen, chairman of Boatmen's Banschares of Iowa said in a statement, that the organization was very pleased to enter into the transaction for the benefit of its correspondent bank customers.

"This is a segment of our business that they do better than us," said Joseph C. White, president and chief executive officer of Boatmen's Iowa. "It is a totally transparent transaction for our customers."

Boatmen's offered its customers the option of not renewing with Fiserv, however, everyone stayed on board, said Mr. White.

"We are pleased with the transition because it provides us with future enhancements to our existing products," said Tim Byrnes, president and chief executive officer of City State Bank of Madrid, Iowa, one of the center's customers.

Customer-Base Expansion

The center was started in the early 1960s and provides full-service data processing for banks as well as a range of financial information management products and services.

All of the employees were hired by Fiserv and the company plans to add more people as needed with the expansion of its customer base.

Currently, the center serves more than 50 banks throughout Iowa with clients ranging in asset size from $10 million, to $380 million. The transaction was official at close of business on April 29.

George Dalton, the chairman and chief executive officer of Fiserv, said the purchase of the processing center brings "the expertise and technological resources" into the national network of Fiserv centers.

"This center has built a strong reputation as a service leader in Iowa," he said. "We plan to continue to enhance this relationship as we expand our services throughout the state."

Bill Bradway, an analyst at The Tower Group in Wellesley, Mass, said the acquisition was a continuation of Fiserv strategy to acquire new clients and increase its presence nationwide.

Kevin Kasper, a spokesman for Fiserv, said the firm had been looking for an opportunity to have its own stand-alone center for sometime and saw the purchase as exactly what it was looking for.

"By purchasing the center, we are getting hold of an existing foundation which we will be able to build to a strong presence in the state," he said.

Boatmen's Bancshares. is headquartered in St. Louis. The company has operations in nine states primarily in the Midwest with total assets of $21 billion. The Iowa operation has just over $1 billion of assets with operations focusing in the Des Moines area.

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