The buyout of a New Hampshire savings bank by the $353 million GFA Federal Credit Union of Gardner, Mass., cleared a major hurdle this week with approval from the FDIC, a lead attorney in the transaction said Friday.
"We have needed four major approvals and two are complete now with shareholders of the Monadnock Community Bank and the FDIC," said Michigan attorney Michael Bell.
Bell had advised last January's takeover of an ailing Indiana savings bank in a similar credit union/bank purchase involving the $1.4 billion United Federal Credit Union of St. Joseph, Mich., and an Indiana bank.
Bell said FDIC approval "is a major hurdle but we do need four for four which is what makes this type of transaction difficult,"
Bell, who is with Detroit-based Kotz Sangster, said the Massachusetts credit union is still looking for final approval from the Comptroller of the Currency and the NCUA.
“We hope to close some time in the fourth quarter,” he said. "We have good momentum at the moment and are making good progress with NCUA,” Bell said.
The agency “has been a partner in examining this transaction. It has not been adversarial in any way," the Michigan attorney said. GFA has offered $6.4 million in cash to buy the ailing, one-office $83 million Monadnock Community Bank of Peterborough. It will be GFA's first entry into New Hampshire.
Monadnock shareholders had approved the transaction May 31. Monadnock, located in a community just across the state line from Gardner, is a former credit union with 20,000 members.