The NCUA said Friday it would hold a teleconference for potential bidders for Western Bridge at 1 p.m. EDT on Oct. 5.
In announcing the teleconference, NCUA executive Scott Hunt said in a statement, “NCUA’s primary goal is to seek a solution that minimizes disruption to Western Bridge’s members. Our preference is to seek an acquirer that can absorb the operations in whole while also minimizing costs to the stabilization fund.” The bidding is only open to other corporate credit unions.
The statement offered these additional details: “Participation in the bidders’ teleconference requires an executed confidentiality agreement with NCUA. Bidders must provide their executed confidentiality agreement to the Office of Corporate Credit Unions (OCCU) by no later than noon, Oct. 4. To request an introductory information packet, including the required confidentiality agreement, contact OCCU at OCCUmail@ncua.gov. Calling instructions for the teleconference will be provided to the list of attendees prior to the date of the meeting.”
Off-the-record interviews by Credit Union Times with a range of corporates has found considerable interest in the Western Bridge assets coupled with uncertainty about what corporate could successfully absorb the some 875 members of Western Bridge.
“There would have to be a capital contribution into the acquiring corporate by Western Bridge members who wanted to join,” said one senior corporate executive. “We will sign the NDA, we will attend the conference, and we are interested in acquiring Western Bridge members. We will see about acquiring Western Bridge as a whole.”
Another corporate executive, also on condition of anonymity, said, “I am not at all sure who has the balance sheet strength and the size to do this deal. There cannot be very many qualified bidders.”
Other executives said much the same: They are very interested in kicking the tires but will come to look, not to buy. “We want to see what is on offer, at what price,” one said. “Then we will make some decisions.”
Western Bridge’s plans to form a new corporate, to be named United Resources, failed when a capitalization drive fell well short of its $200 million goal by Aug. 31.
The NCUA also said Friday it will hold a meeting of potential bidders for U.S. Central Bridge at 1 p.m. CDT on Oct. 3, probably in the Kansas City, Mo., area.