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Banca Commerciale Still Wants To Buy Irving Bank Stake

August 22, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ Banca Commerciale Italiana SpA said Monday it still wants to acquire control of Irving Bank Corp. despite a regulatory hurdle erected by the Federal Reserve.

The Fed said the Italian government agency that owns about 60 percent of Banca Commerciale will have to supply financial information in connection with the bid, and some banking industry observers have questioned whether the agency would be willing to do so.

Banca Commerciale said it was surprised by the Fed’s decision, which it said was contrary to its decision in 1982 when Banca Commerciale acquired Litco Bancorporation of New York Inc.

″We are exploring various options for proceeding ahead,″ said Enrico Braggiotti, chairman of the Italian bank, which is offering $84 a share for 51 percent of New York-based Irving. In a rival bid, Bank of New York has offered $15 in cash and 1.575 of its own shares for each Irving share.

The Fed’s ruling was announced after the close of trading Friday. Irving’s stock fell 25 cents a share to $66.37 1/2 on Monday on the New York Stock Exchange.

The government agency that controls the bank is Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale.

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