The president and chief executive officer of Bay View Capital Corp. in San Mateo, Calif., says his $6 billion-asset company may become a takeover target.

With the company's stock price slumping, Edward H. Sondker acknowledged that Bay View is vulnerable. "It's fundamental economics," Mr. Sondker said. His comments were reported by the BridgeNews news service on Friday.

Bay View's stock has plunged about 35% since January. Observers said the decline can be partially attributed to the uncertainty of Bay View's deal to buy Franchise Mortgage Acceptance Corp. Shareholders approved that deal last Friday, and Mr. Sondker said he hopes that will he/p lift the battered stock.

Though Bay View's stock is trading at a huge discount to its peers, analysts said they do not anticipate a takeover.

"The stock has continued to trade down, but I'd be surprised if management looked to sell," said David B. Sochol of Legg Mason Wood Walker in Baltimore.

Also, since Bay View is still transforming itself from a thrift to a commercial bank, it is unlikely to attract many suitors, said James R. Bradshaw of Pacific Crest Securities in Portland.

-- Matt Andrejczak

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