A Denver investor group is poised to take over a troubled California thrift that lost more than $2 million last year.

Tracy Bankshares, a holding company formed by the investor group, plans to buy Tracy Federal Savings Bank, Tracy, Calif. The holding company, which has already won Tracy shareholders' approval of the sale, is still seeking a nod from the Office of Thrift Supervision.

"The sale is an out that the board and the shareholders wanted," said Alain Abejdid, president and chief executive officer of Tracy Federal Savings. "They have been really looking for somebody to purchase them for the last year."

Tracy Bankshares has agreed to pay $2.40 in cash for each share of Tracy Federal Savings stock-about $6.4 million in all.

Mr. Abejdid, who joined Tracy Federal just two months ago, said he would stay on as president and CEO and that the $110 million-asset thrift would keep its name. Mr. Abejdid, who previously was president and CEO of Bank of Whittier, Calif., said he had joined Tracy Federal because he wanted a new challenge.

He said the investors, who include experienced bankers, would help turn the bank around.

The struggling thrift has had a checkered earnings record since 1993 and began bleeding money last year, losing $2.3 million. It lost $1.4 million in the fourth quarter alone.

Tracy Federal has been losing capital strength as well. Its equity dropped to just 4.68% of assets in the fourth quarter, from 6.32% at yearend 1995.

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