Interchange Financial Services, Saddle Brook, N.J., could be making a run for Wayne (N.J.) Bancorp.
Speaking at a banking forum last week, Anthony Abbate, Interchange's president and chief executive officer, said he was "very interested" in acquiring Wayne and that his $521 million-asset company was reviewing Wayne's books.
Wayne, with $275 million of assets, announced last month that it was seeking a buyer. The company, which maintains branches in affluent areas of northern New Jersey, has retained New York's Sandler O'Neill & Partners to facilitate a sale.
Calls to Mr. Abbate were not returned, but Frank J. Barkocy, managing director of Josepthal Lyon & Ross Inc., New York, said Interchange probably would win any bidding war for Wayne. At least three companies have been named as possible suitors.
"Tony's like a bulldog," he said. "Once he gets a hold of something, he doesn't let go."
-Laura Pavlenko Lutton