Troubled community bank Colonial Bank, a subsidiary of Colonial BancGroup Inc., has agreed to sell some of its assets as part of a series of transactions by an empty-shell company known as Global Consumer Acquisition Corp., according to a press release issued Tuesday.
Colonial BancGroup, whose shares were recently up 14.3% at 72 cents premarket, and Colonial Bank, whose bond ratings were cut last month, have agreed to sell their Nevada branch operations and certain assets to Global Consumer Acquisition, a blank-check company formed to acquire an operating business.
Concurrent with the Colonial transaction, Global Consumer has agreed to purchase 1st Commerce Bank, a Nevada bank formed by Capitol Bancorp Ltd., whose shares closed at $1.95 on Monday and were inactive premarket, and local Nevada executives; 1st Commerce carries a Nevada bank charter under which the combined entity will continue to operate.
Post-closing, Global Consumer will be renamed Western Liberty Bancorp. Western Liberty will become a bank holding company and its banking operations will be conducted through 1st Commerce Bank, which will retain its name.
The 1st Commerce Bank will have 22 branches in Nevada. Western Liberty will have approximately $477 million of gross loan assets, $320 million of transaction account deposits and $214 million in time deposits, with residual brokered deposits of less than $13 million.
It will focus on conservative business and commercial real estate lending, consumer lending, trade finance and depository products.
As part of the acquisition process, Global Consumer had the opportunity to select which assets of Colonial Bank it would acquire.
Global Consumer and its outside consultants and advisers also performed a thorough analysis of 1st Commerce Bank's loan portfolio, and Global Consumer self-selected the substantial majority of its loan portfolio in an effort to minimize "legacy loan" exposure, according to the company's press release.