acquisitions last week. The Bowling Green, Ohio-based bank holding company bought Certified Credit Systems Inc., Sarasota, Fla., through its Clearwater, Fla., subsidiary, CCB Services. Mid Am acquired CCB and International Credit Service, Toledo - both collection agencies - last November. It expects to complete the acquisition of a broker-dealer, MFI Investments Corp., Bryan, Ohio, in the third quarter. "We've been looking at nonbank entities for quite some time and made a decision that these niche collection agency activities can be very profitable," said W. Granger Souder, executive vice president of $2 billion-asset Mid Am. The deal's price was not disclosed. Certified specializes in municipal emergency medical collections, trying to recoup payments for services such as ambulance runs, said Mark S. Mandula, president of CCB and International Credit. For instance, in Certified's Florida market, many visitors from other areas skip town without paying emergency medical costs incurred there, he said. CCB and International Credit's businesses include check collection, check verification, credit and commercial collection services. Mid Am has let these collection agencies pretty much run as they did before being acquired, said Daniel G. Bandi, an analyst at the Ohio Co., Columbus. "It's not a strain on Mid Am's infrastructure. If you have good management, it's really a good way to make money." For 1994, collection agency fees made up 15.5% of Mid Am's noninterest income, the biggest item after deposit account service charges, Mr. Bandi said. Mid Am plans to merge Certified's business into CCB's. Four of Certified's six employees have accepted jobs with CCB, and the other two have been offered posts, Mr. Mandula said. He expects to see Mid Am expand further into the business, Mr. Mandula said. "The opportunity to expand in the collection industry is really exciting," he said. "We are . . . where banking was 10 to 15 years ago in terms of acquisition." Mid Am will continue to explore bank and nonbank acquisitions such as finance, leasing, and data processing companies, Mr. Souder said. In March, Mid Am made its first bank purchase in Michigan, acquiring $128 million-asset Adrian State Bank.
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