DALLAS - ACE Cash Express Inc. has signed a letter of intent to acquire the assets of 107 check-cashing and retail financial services locations from five privately held companies for about $30 million.

In a press release, ACE president Jay B. Shipowitz said the deal, which includes approximately 60 stores in Northern California and 40 in Texas, is the largest in the company's history and involves more stores than the company has acquired in the last three years.

The announced acquisition, expected to close by yearend, "compliments our existing store network and strategically positions ACE to further expand in these geographic areas," he said.

Goleta National Bank of Goleta, Calif. has an agreement with ACE to make small consumer loans to customers at various ACE-owned stores.

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