First Mariner effort to buy Glen Burnie Bancorp fails Hale says his bank will open branches in Arundel instead

Finance

November 22, 1997|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,SUN STAFF

First Mariner Bancorp, the small but aggressive Baltimore financial institution, said yesterday that its efforts to gain control of Glen Burnie Bancorp have collapsed, and that instead it may open its own branches in the Glen Burnie area.

"Everybody here is very disappointed," said Edwin F. Hale Jr., chairman of First Mariner. "They have good locations and a long-standing relationship with the community. It would have been a good investment."

Hale said negotiations to buy closely held Glen Burnie Bancorp's shares from Pasadena resident Ethel Webster for $4.2 million broke down late Thursday.

Hale declined to say why the plan collapsed, but he said that Webster was upset by news reports last weekend which included details disclosed in public records about the potential deal.

Webster, whose father helped found Glen Burnie Bancorp, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Her lawyer, Marvin Mandel of Annapolis, declined to be specific about why the deal fell through other than to say, "It was a simple matter of negotiations and we couldn't get to an agreement."

Negotiations with First Mariner, Mandel said, have been "terminated."

F. William Kuethe Jr., president and chief executive of Glen Burnie Bancorp, said the banking company was unaware First Mariner's efforts to buy Webster's shares had failed. He declined comment on the announcement.

Glen Burnie Bancorp is the holding company for the Bank of Glen Burnie, which has six branches in Anne Arundel County. First Mariner operates eight branches in the Baltimore area.

First Mariner, which owns 4,580 shares of Glen Burnie Bancorp, had agreed to buy 170,883 shares from Webster for $24.50 a share, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 14.

As detailed in those documents, the purchase would have raised First Mariner's stake in Glen Burnie Bancorp to 19.8 percent.

Hale said that document was only a draft of the potential agreement and was erroneously filed with the SEC by First Mariner's legal counsel, Shapiro & Olander.

If the deal had gone through, First Mariner, which had about $213 million in assets as of Sept. 30, would then have moved to gain control of Glen Burnie Bancorp, which reported $226 million in assets as of Sept. 30.

Hale said First Mariner's contingency plan is to open branches in the Glen Burnie and northern Anne Arundel County area.

He said the institution has been scouting for potential sites and ,, talking to real estate agents.

"I think a bank like ours would be well received in that area. You have customers who are good savers, conservative with their money," said Hale. "They want to be treated politely and they want decent pricing on fees, which we can offer."

He declined to say how many branches First Mariner would like to open in the territory.

When asked about the potential new competitor, Kuethe at Glen Burnie Bancorp said, "There's plenty of business for everybody here. It's a good area for banking."

Pub Date: 11/22/97

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