An institutional investor's three-year-old lawsuit against Western Bancorp in Newport Beach, Calif., has been dismissed, the company said last week.

As part of the resolution, both Western and the investor, Financial Institutional Partners, have agreed to make undisclosed charitable contributions to support multiple sclerosis research.

Western inherited the suit when it acquired California Commercial Bancshares of Newport Beach in 1997.

Financial Institutional Partners, an affiliate of Hovde Financial Inc. in Washington, had claimed that California Commercial reneged on a pledge to sell the investor nearly 270,000 shares at a rate of $6.75 per share in May 1996.

However, California Commercial argued that it was not required to sell shares at that price to because the investor had let an original agreement expire.

First Institutional Partners filed a suit in December 1996 asking the to require that California Commercial to sell the shares to the investor. It continued to seek a judgment after California Commercial merged with Western.

In May, the $2.5 billion-asset Western agreed to be acquired by U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis.

Western Bancorp shares rose 37.5 cents Friday to close at $42.9375.

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