MINNEAPOLIS -- Metropolitan Financial Corp. said it signed a letter of intent to acquire American Charter Federal Savings and Loan of Lincoln, Neb., which has assets of $984 million and deposits of $880 million.

The company expects the transaction, in which American Charter will convert to stock ownership before the merger, to be completed in the fourth quarter of 1992, subject to regulatory approvals.

Metropolitan has $5 billion in assets and thrift operations in six states. Earlier this week, it announced the sale of $930 million of mortgage securities that provides ample cash for the acquisition, which will require no capital outlays and will increase earnings, said Paul Lipetzky, president and chief operating officer.

Minneapolis-based Metropolitan will gain its first banking presence in Nebraska with nine American Charter branches in the Omaha area, five in the Lincoln area, and 13 elsewhere.

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