CHICAGO - Two months after announcing it would buy the nation's largest black-owned banking company, Shorebank Corp. is still trying to line up $15 million in new capital to finance the deal.
Shorebank says it is on track in funding its purchase of Indecorp Inc., and many observers agree. But at least one says it is lagging.
The community development bank indicated in its application to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago that it would raise funds during the third and fourth quarters.
"We're on schedule," said Joan Shapiro, Shorebank's executive vice president." "We are in active, productive discussions with at least a dozen serious prospects."
Some of the largest banks in the country have funded previous expansions by the community development bank. But "it is taking longer this time," said William M. Cunningham, president of Creative Investment Research, Washington, which follows minority and community development financial institutions.
The Indecorp deal is likely to go through, he said, but raising the money could be slowed by changes in attitudes about community reinvestment and by community protests in Chicago against the deal.
Bankers may want to wait to commit significant funds to see what changes occur regarding CRA guidelines being considered in Congress, Mr. Cunningham said.
However, Ms. Shapiro said she didn't believe banks invest in Shorebank mainly for CRA credit.
William Goodyear, chairman and chief executive of Bank of America Illinois, the only bank so far to commit funds, predicted Shorebank would not have trouble raising new capital.
"I've watched them raise capital a number of times," said Mr. Goodyear, who also advises Shorebank's board. "My observation is that this one is going perhaps better."
Contrary to earlier reports, Bank of America Illinois will invest, but has not committed to a specific amount, Mr. Goodyear said. The company's new investment could be in "the same range" as its existing $2.5 million investment, he said.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield has committed $515,000, Ms. Shapiro said.
Shorebank's last big fund-raising effort, in 1993, generated $11.2 million, including contributions from several banks.
Representatives of First Chicago Corp., Harris Bankcorp, LaSalle National Corp. and Northern Trust Corp. - all previous investors - said they had not yet made decisions regarding additional investments in Shorebank.
Gary Washington, senior vice president of LaSalle National Corp., said that while the CRA cost-benefit issue wouldn't be a major factor, "it's definitely something that we look at."
Mr. Cunningham said that investors also might consider the impact of recent protests against the acquisition from Chicago community leaders who want to see Indecorp and its Drexel National Bank and Independence Bank remain under black ownership.
If the Federal Reserve is swayed by protests, "you might commit some capital and (the deal) doesn't go through, and you've spent a lot of time and effort on this deal," Mr. Cunningham said.
"It can become something of a Catch-22" because investors want assurance of regulatory approvals before committing funds, but regulatory approvals can hinge on funding.
Shorebank said the protests have not undermined fund-raising discussions.