Apparently abandoning plans to reenter banking, First City Bancorporation of Texas confirmed that three bidders are interested in buying the remnants of the failed Texas company.
In a two-page statement, First City this week said it had received interest from three outsiders. By making the announcement, the Houston-based company has apparently scuttled plans to apply for a new banking charter once it emerges from federal bankruptcy court protection.
"That doesn't seem to be in the cards." said Bob Brown, president of First City.
The final say on the future of the company is up to a Dallas bankruptcy judge, but Mr. Brown conceded the outside interest is more likely to be approved by the court.
So far, anly two of the three bidders have been identified. Only one bidder, "21" International Holdings, a publicly traded company based in New York, has submitted a bid to the bankruptcy court.
The company, which owns a chain of East Coast auto dealers, submitted the bid Sept. 16. Terms were not disclosed.
The second bidder is a group formed by J-Hawk Corp., a Waco, Tex. buyer of distressed assets, and Cargill Financial Corp. of Minnetonka, Minn.
Jim Sartain, president of JHawk, said the partnership would submit a bid within 10 days.
"We will have a plan on the table that will make sense to our business," Mr. Sartain said. The third bidder is still unidentified, but is said to be a financial services company.
It is not clear how much outsiders would pay for the remnants of First City.
However, the winning bidder will end up with assets tumed back to the holding company after a settlement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is completed this year.