NCUA has apparently refined and streamlined its bidding process on mergers–at least based on a consolidation announced yesterday involving the ailing $60 million Saugus FCU in Massachusetts.
Though an official press release made only a brief mention of NCUA’s May 18 approval of the Saugus takeover by the $500 million Webster First FCU, its president/CEO acknowledged that his CU was identified “as one of 61 potential” bidders from across the Northeast based on the agency’s eligibility/FOM rules.
“I think it came down to about nine to 13 who were considered interested bidders and we were finally selected by the Saugus board,” said Michael Lussier, president/CEO of Webster First.
Like other CUs on NCUA’s potential suitor roster, Webster said his CU had submitted its entry in January followed by a bidders’ meeting in February. Lussier said he understood that in the final run-up, “there was at least one bidder from New York and others from Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire.”
He said Webster First signed on to the NCUA’s registry on its website “to be informed when there was a potential merger candidate in our district” and once it was determined that it fit the CU’s FOM rule, the paperwork proceeded. Lussier said the agency’s revised merger rules were put in place “during the last quarter of 2010.”
Lussier expressed satisfaction that the process has worked well in providing his central Massachusetts CU the ability to expand into metro Boston through the Saugus addition. Webster First already has market share in central Massachusetts “and now we are able to expand into the eastern part of the state,” he said.