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BankAmerica Denies It Asked Japanese Banks For Help

January 14, 1987

TOKYO (AP) _ A local spokesman on Wednesday denied a Japanese press report that BankAmerica Corp. informally had approached several Japanese banks, including the Industrial Bank of Japan, for financial assistance.

Bank of America Tokyo branch spokesman Aiko Taira said he had informed the bank’s San Francisco head office about the report on Tuesday, and a spokesman there replied that ″the report was untrue.″

The report by Kyodo News Service quoted unnamed banking sources as saying BankAmerica, acting through a U.S. intermediary, had asked a group of Japanese banks for financial assistance.

The report said BankAmerica wanted the banks to buy about $500 million worth of preferred stock and subordinated debentures to help rehabilitate the ailing U.S. bank.

A well-placed Japanese banking source, speaking on condition of anonymity, also denied the report on Tuesday.

″We know that First Interstate is making a takeover bid for BankAmerica and Japanese banks know enough not to intervene at this time,″ he said.

The source referred to the $3.2 billion, unwanted takeover offer being made by First Interstate Bancorp of Los Angeles for financially-pressed BankAmerica, the second-biggest U.S. banking concern after New York’s Citicorp. BankAmerica’s board of directors earlier this month rejected the offer and asked First Interstate to withdraw the bid.

Taira noted that at its Jan. 5 meeting BankAmerica’s board had authorized management to raise additional capital, including the issuance of equity securities, in order to bolster the company’s sagging financial condition and help thwart the unwanted takeover.

″The corporation intends to file a registration statement with the SEC (Securities Exchange Commision) regarding such securities as soon as the 1986 yearend financial statements are available around Jan. 26,″ he said.

BankAmerica officials in the United States also have said that while there may be foreign interest in acquiring equity securities in a private placement, that did not necessarily mean such investors would be taking a significant ownership interest.

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