Fund to Dissolve After Failed Goldome Bid

OMAHA - America First Financial Fund 1988, an investment partnership that bid unsuccessfully for the New York State thrift Goldome, said it will dissolve in mid-July and distribute $17.15 per beneficial unit certificate.

The decision to dissolve the fund, which had been marketed to investors by American Express Co.'s Shearson Lehman Brothers subsidiary, followed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.'s rejection of its bid for Goldome.

America First's pursuit of Goldome had not previously been confirmed. On May 31, the FDIC parceled out Goldome's deposits and certain assets to subsidiaries of First Empire State Corp., Buffalo, and KeyCorp, Albany, N.Y.

An Early Lead

An America First spokesman declined to elaborate on the nature of its bid, saying only that with $260 million in capital, the fund was in a favorable position early on.

"We were in the driver's seat until Key went to the capital markets and [Omaha-based investor Warren] Buffett put $40 million into First Empire," the spokesman said.

KeyCorp has said it will put $273 million of new capital into the Goldome purchase, and First Empire has said it will contribute $40 million.

The America First spokesman said the fund's "stand alone" status did not fare well against the in-market consolidation possible through KeyCorp and First Empire. Goldome, with $11.3 billion in assets on March 31, is the largest thrift closed by the FDIC.

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