What may seem to be a bizarre twist in a months-long bidding war in upstate New York for Cohoes Bancorp is simple politics: Ambanc Holding Co. intends to support a rival's bid for seats on Cohoes' board in order to increase the chance of a victory by dissident shareholders.

A month after Ambanc let its tender offer for Cohoes expire, it has withdrawn its three nominees for Cohoes' board. Ambanc, of Amsterdam, N.Y., which has a 4% stake in Cohoes, of Cohoes, N.Y., said it would instead back the four nominees of Trustco Bank Corp., of Schenectady, N.Y., in an attempt to defeat incumbents.

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