DENVER -- The move by the Colorado Division of Finance to fund a buyer for the deeply troubled $180 million New Horizons Community Credit Union of Denver was progressing last week with a "bidders' meeting" slated here Feb. 8.
Two weeks ago the state's commissioner of financial services, Chris Myklebust, declared New Horizons "critically undercapitalized" and in need of new ownership after the Denver CU suffered large losses on construction loans and subprime auto loans of Centrix Financial, LLC, the third-party lender being sold this month under guidance of a U.S. bankruptcy judge.
Last April New Horizons was placed under NCUA conservatorship.
It was uncertain how many bidders, whether from Colorado or out-of-state, might show up for the Feb. 8 "informational" meeting at an airport hotel, but officials of at least two Colorado CUs, the $1.9 billion Ent Federal Credit Union of Colorado Springs, Colo. and the $700 million Westerra Credit Union of Denver said they would be attending.
Both of those two CUs have been active Colorado acquirers in recent years with Ent picking up the $90 million Decibel Community Credit Union of Pueblo in December.
Decibel, one of the first CUs chartered in Colorado, was founded in 1938 to serve Pueblo-area employees of Bell Telephone.
A spokesman for Ent acknowledged Decibel did have Centrix loans in its portfolio, but maintained the merger was put forward because of the close management and employer ties Decibel had with a formerly merged CU now part of Ent. That CU was Mountain Bell Credit Union of Colorado Springs, which was merged into Ent in July 2001.