California-based SCE FCU will be gaining its first toehold in the Nevada market through its proposed merger of the ailing $56 million SONEPCO FCU of Las Vegas.
The $500 million SCE, based in Irwindale and part of metro Los Angeles, said it had been discussing a consolidation with SONEPCO “for more than a year.”
Among Nevada CUs, SONEPCO has long been rumored to be looking for a partner. The CU lost $1.6 million in the first quarter and has 4.2% net worth.
But putting a positive spin on the consolidation, Dennis Huber, president/CEO of SCE, noted that while the Las Vegas market “has been hard hit, the recovery of SONEPCO FCU has already begun.”
“With greater than 4% capital, they have weathered the storm pretty well, which speaks to them having a good sponsor group and being well managed,” said Huber.
The two share a common membership base of utility employees. SONEPCO serves Nevada Energy Co. and SCE was chartered to serve Southern California Edison.
The merger is subject to final approval of SONEPCO members and NCUA and is slated to become effective by yearend.
Under the transaction, Sue Longson, president/CEO of SONEPCO and a director of the California/Nevada Credit Union League, will be named to a senior management post in the combined CU, said SCE.
SONEPCO with more than 5,100 members and chartered in 1955, has three locations in Las Vegas and suburban Henderson.
Huber said the SONEPCO merger bid “came to us” and that there are no current plans to scout for other prospects but “we are always open to discussing opportunities with other credit unions that would benefit our membership."