The $225 million Five Star Credit Union of Dothan, Ala., emergedFriday as the successful bidder for the ailing $38 millionFrederica CU of Brunswick, Ga. but what has turned industry headsthis week is the high number of potential bidders: 18 .

There was no explanation from the NCUA about the higher thannormal number but the president/CEO of Five Star, Robert Steensma,said a positive factor is Frederica's branch presence on St.Simon's Island, a popular southeast Georgia tourist haven.

The CU itself, with 3.29% net worth, has endured a toughfinancial road and was on an NCUA emergency purchase list, saidSteensma.

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