LOS ANGELES - Responding to a 19% surge in its stock price Friday, Bank Plus Corp. said Monday that it is in negotiations with a potential buyer. Mark K. Mason, president and chief executive officer of $2.2 billion-asset Bank Plus, refused to name the company and said there is no assurance that the talks would result in a sale.

"We are in negotiations with a potential acquirer, but we have not signed a letter of intent or a definitive agreement," Mr. Mason said. "We will of course advise stockholders if and when any definitive agreement is reached."

Bank Plus is the parent company of Fidelity Federal Bank, which operates 29 branches in Southern California.

The company's shares closed at $5.5625 in moderate trading Friday. The stock retreated Monday, however, closing at TK. It reached a high of $16 in 1998 and fell below $1.50 in April 2000.

Last month Bank Plus announced that the Office of Thrift Supervision had removed the "problem association" and "troubled condition" designations applied to the company since last fall. The orders resulted from an examination of Bank Plus' money-losing credit card operation, which was recently sold to an unnamed buyer.

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