Cleveland-based National City Corp. said Tuesday that it is poised to acquire Raffensperger, Hughes & Co., an Indianapolis investment banking and brokerage firm, for an undisclosed cash sum.

Analysts speculated that Nat City would pay about $12 million for the company, which generates $20 million of annual revenues and $10 million in market capitalization.

Nat City is now seeking Federal Reserve Board approval for full underwriting, or Tier 2, powers. Thomas A. Richlovsky, Nat City's treasurer, said that to win such powers, the bank has to "demonstrate a capability in this area and that's what Raffensperger, Hughes does: corporate debt and equity underwriting. That's its business."

Fed approval should come in the second quarter of 1995, Mr. Richlovsky said, at the same time Nat City expects to close the Raffensperger deal. The merger will have no material impact on Nat City's earnings.

The bank plans to fold Raffensperger into its National City Investments Capital subsidiary. Herbert R. Martens Jr., Raffensperger's CEO, will head the merged unit.

David A. Daberko, Nat City's president and chief operating officer, said the bank hopes to derive up to $20 million of yearly net income from underwriting within "a few years."

The acquisition "will significantly expand our ability to help municipalities and small businesses tap public finance markets," he added.

McDonald & Co.'s Fred Cummings pointed out that the merger will enlarge Nat City's underwriting ability. The bank's investment capital unit now has Tier I powers, which allows it to do municipal debt offerings only.

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