CHICAGO -- Indecorp the largest black-owned banking company in the country, with $267 million in assets, signed a letter f intent to be acquired by an African-American investor group from Detroit.
The investor group is headed by William T. Johnson, a Detroit banker and cable television franchiser who bought a troubled savings bank in 1988 in River Rouge, Michigan The Bank, now called Omni Banc Corp., had assets of $22 million at yearend 1992.
Specific terms of the deal have not been released. Alvin J. Boutte, Indecorp's chairman, said the nonbinding deal met board directors' concerns that the bank remain black-owned.
"Keeping the bank in African-American hands had some relevance in this," said Mr. Boutte. "We have many constituents, and we have many fiduciary responsibilities, but we also have a responsibility to our race."
Inside and Outside Debate
Earlier, the possibility of the bank's selling out to South Shore, which is not minority-owned, sparked debate inside and outside of Indecorp.
At yearend, Indecorp's two banks, Drexel National Bank and Independence Bank of Chicago, had loan-to-deposit ratios substantially below the average 60% for Chicago institutions of similar size, according to data provided by Ferguson & Co., at 28% and 31% respectively.
Omni Banc had a loan to deposit ratio of 53% at the end of 1992.
"I hope as a consequence of this sale Indecorp's community lending will be strengthened," said Malcolm Bush, president of the Woodstock Institute, a Chicago firm that tracks lending patterns.