An investor in First Federal Savings Bank of Western Maryland dropped his plan for a proxy fight, saying officials of the thrift had convinced him they were actively seeking a buyer.

Seymour Holtzman, a Florida investor who owns 8.15% of the $330 million-asset thrift, last week withdrew his proposal to offer an independent slate of directors.

First Federal engaged Alex. Brown & Sons of Baltimore last month, but at the time Mr. Holtzman called the move a "smoke screen."

But after meetings with First Federal chief executive Patrick J. Coyne and Alex. Brown officials, Mr. Holtzman said he had been persuaded to drop his proxy plans.

"Patrick Coyne and the bank's management should be commended on their actions," he said in a press statement. "It is obvious that the stock's move from $21 to $26 reflects shareholders' approval of the bank's decision to seek a sale or merger."

Mr. Coyne could not be reached for comment.

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