KeyCorp Again Weighs Bidding For Sick New Hampshire Units

KeyCorp is taking a second look at some New Hampshire banking institutions that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is expected to seize and sell in early September.

"We are exploring a presence in New Hampshire now that the FDIC has repackaged the sale," said Allen Volkenant, a spokesman for Albany, N.Y.-based KeyCorp.

The FDIC originally sought to sell two banks and three thrifts in one package, but interest flagged. KeyCorp and others dropped out of contention. The agency then announced in June that it would sell the banks as one unit and the thrifts as another.

The banks, BankEast Corp. and Amoskeag Bank Shares, are based in Manchester. The insolvent thrifts for sale are Numerica Financial Corp., Manchester; Dartmouth Bancorp, Manchester; and New Hampshire Savings Bank Corp., Concord.

Company Says It Is Undecided

Sources close to the bidding said KeyCorp is eyeing the two banks.

Mr. Volkenant said the company has not yet decided whether to bid on any of the institutions. KeyCorp's renewed interest was first revealed in The Boston Herald.

KeyCorp pored over the companies' books early this year before chairman Victor Riley bowed out of the contest, saying he wanted to concentrate merger efforts in existing markets.

Several other institutions and investors have shown interest in the New Hampshire companies. The Boston-based Harvard Management Corp. is considered a serious candidate, working under the aegis of the Aeneas Group, an investment company overseeing the Harvard University endowment.

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