WASHINGTON - The Resolution Trust Corp. today will unveil the first simultaneous sale of a failed thrift's deposits and assets.

Regulators will divide Richmond-based Investors Savings among 10 buyers. Previously, the RTC had been unable to sell seized assets along with deposits.

Investors Savings' $1.18 billion in deposits will be bought by Central Fidelity Bank, which has $6.9 billion in assets and is also based in Virginia's capital.

Nearly all of Investors' $1.15 billion in assets will be spread among nine buyers, including the investment bank Kidder, Peabody & Co. and a unit of Cargill Inc., the Minnesota-based agribusiness giant.

Preferred Route

The Investors deal, which drew spirited bidding, represents the first fruits of the RTC's efforts to arrange the sale of whole institutions.

Since being created in 1989 to sell or liquidate failed thrifts, the agency for the most part has promptly unloaded seized deposits to the highest bidder.

But the assets - often nonperforming loans and foreclosed real estate - have taken longer to sell, and so har to be handled separately.

The immediate sale of assets has an obvious appeal for the RTC: It eliminates the cost of maintaining assets, shrinks the agency's paperwork, and reduces its risk of losing track of the assets.

"The big benefit is having all of these assets out the door immediately," said William Roelle the RTC's chief financial officer.

Advance Provision Made

But while the agency hopes the Investor Savings deal will serve as a model for future sales, the RTC will not be able to build on its success soon, because it has run out of cash.

The agency was able to arrange the sale of Investors Savings only because it set aside money before April 1, when funding was cut off by Congress.

San Diego-based HomeFed Bank, the $12.4 billion-asset institution seized Monday, is slated to be the second thrift peddled through the program.

But Lisa Spector, director of the RTC division that oversees accelerated sales, said "the lack of funding could affect our plans for HomeFed."

She predicted that the RTC will hold HomeFed's performing loans only until the end of September, when they will be securitized, eliminating the chance for a complete sale.

More Data, More Cash

Agency officials said the prospects for whole sales have brightened for a number of reasons.

For one thing, the RTC is providing better information about the quality of assets, giving potential buyers more confidence to make bids. And because many institutions are awash in liquidity, they are more willing to buy assets now than in the past.

What's more, selling assets and deposits simultaneously can create more competition, as happened with Investors Savings.

For example, three bidders - Central Fidelity, Donaldson Lufkin & Jennrette, and Liberty Mutual - joined together to bid on the whole institution.

"I think that got us better bids for both assets and liabilities because they knew they were bidding against someone who could take the whole thing," said Herb Held, who directed the sale of Investors' deposits.

Of the trio, only Central Fidelity ended up with what it was after - the deposit franchise. Donaldson Lufkin and Liberty Mutual lost the bidding for assets.

The consortium's "did submit a good bid, but the individual bids we got were great," Mr. Held explained.

Overall, there were 17 bids for the deposits. Central Fidelity won the entire franchise by offering $24.5 million - $5.5 million more than the second-highest bid.

Bigger Premium

The premium, equal to 2.1% of deposits, dwarfed the 0.3% premium paid by Crestar Financial Corp. just six months ago when it acquired the deposits of another Virginia thrift, Perpetual Savings, from the RTC. In other words, Central Fidelity paid three times the amount Crestar did for half the amount of deposits.

There were 29 bids on Investor Savings' assets - 25% to 50% more than usual, according to Gordon Diachenko, the RTC staffer who ran the asset side of the deal.

The RTC was paid an average of about 60 cents on the dollar. The performing assets fetched 86% of book value, while the nonperforming assets garnered just 36% of book.

The agency retained about $46 million in commercial real estate loans and land, plus a real estate investment subsidiary with a book value of $137 million.

Another $200 million in mortgage-backed securities will be sold off by the bailout agency. These assets did attract bids, but the RTC thinks it can get better prices.

Assets Can't Be Returned

The thrift's assets were divided into pools and bid were allowed on various combinations. Buyers cannot return assets to the RTC, as was allowed in some past deals.

Kidder Peabody came away with the biggest chunk of assets, performing single-family first mortgages with a book value of $194.5 million. The brokerage firm paid $194.2 million.

Cargill Financial Services Corp. paid $39 million for a pool of commercial business loans with a book value of $101.4 million. About half of the loans are nonperforming. The RTC's own reserve price was set at $28.5 million.

Cargill teamed up with First Boston to buy two other pools. The partners paid $19.9 million for office loans and buildings with a book value of $56.6 million and $13.6 million for retail loans and real estate worth $43.6 million.

Bulk Construction-Loan Sale

The Investors' deal was the first time the RTC sold construction loans in bulk. Hampstead Investments Inc., a Dallas-based real estate investment company, paid $41.3 million for construction credits with a book value of $87.7 million.

Losing asset bidders included Household Bank, Morgan Stanley, Banc One, United Savings of Texas, and Merrill Lynch.

The Investors deal took about seven months to pull off. The thrift was seized by the government Dec. 13, 1991, and bids were due June 18.

The RTC paid $22 million in fees to outside contractors, primarily Grant Thorton, which conducted due diligence on the assets, and Goldman, Sachs & Co., which structured the deal.

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