WILMINGTON, Del. -- Wilmington Trust Co. said it has reached an agreement to acquire the retail sales and service business of Sunshine Bullion Co., the Idaho-based precious metals company owned by Sunshine Mining Co.

The transaction, scheduled to be completed by July 30, will include Sunshine's custody service for retail gold and silver accounts.

Wilmington Trust, which operates one of the largest precious metals depositories in North America, expanded by buying the nationwide retail sales program of Citibank in 1990 and Bank of Delaware's depository business in 1992.

The Wilmington Trust Corp. subsidiary in 1987 became the first depository outside of New York City to be approved for precious metals storage bY the New York Metals Exchange.

Wilmington Trust, with $4.1 billion of assets and $300 billion under trust, custodial, and investment management, said it earned $40.1 million in the first six months, an 8% increase from 1992 and equal to a 1.97% return on assets.

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