Lazard Affiliate Reduces Its Stake in First Bank

Corporate Partners LP has reduced its stake in First Bank System Inc. by four million shares, according to a document filed Monday by the investment firm with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Since early last year, Corporate Partners has reduced its stake in the Minneapolis bank from 7% to 4.5%. The shares were sold back to the bank as part of its ambitious share repurchase program.

At First Bank's Monday closing price of $60.625, the current stake is worth $391.43 million.

When First Bank was faltering in July 1990, Corporate Partners LP bought 8.9 million shares in an effort to help recapitalize it.

Corporate Partners also controlled 643,976 shares bought at that time by Corporate Offshore Partners, a sister partnership, and 938,783 shares bought by Florida's Board of Administration, for which Corporate Partners is an investment adviser.

According to the filing, Corporate Partners now owns 5.436 million shares, Corporate Offshore Partners owns 397,244 shares, and the state board owns 579,711 shares.

Corporate Partners is an affiliate of Lazard Freres & Co.


Capital Research and Management has nearly doubled its stake in Central Fidelity Banks Inc. of Richmond, Va.

Capital Research in the fourth quarter of last year increased its holding from 1.69 million to 3.2 million shares. At Central Fidelity's midday price of $34 a share Tuesday, the stake is worth $108 million.

This makes Capital Research, a Los Angeles based mutual fund company, the bank's largest shareholder.

Central Fidelity had $10.8 billion in assets at yearend 1995, and market capitalization of $1.37 billion.

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