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Boatman's Bank Merger

August 30, 1996
By: Andy Kravetz
State Capital Bureau

JEFFERSON CITY - A merger between NationsBank and Boatman's Bank will have no immediate impact for mid-Missourians according to bank officials.

However, Larry McCoig, executive vice-president of Boatman's Bank of mid-Missouri said customers will get the benefit of greater convenience.

"Rather than only being in nine states, we are now in 16 states," he said. McCoig said the merger will allow customers to use up to 5,000 ATMs and 2,600 banks around the country.

The merger will allow NationsBank, which has its power base in the South and the Mid-Atlantic state, to capitalize on Boatman's strong market share in the Midwest.

NationsBank said it had agreed to pay $9.5 billion in cash and stock to St. Louis-based Boatman's Bankshares Inc.

Andrew Craig III, chairman and CEO at Boatman's, will become the chairman of NationsBank after the deal is finalized. Craig said the deal was good for both customers and stockholders.

"This is a win-win situation for both. Our stockholders will get $60 a share, well above the price level of the stock, and our customers will benefit from the increased services," he said.

The merger will create the nation's fourth largest bank with $230 billion in assets. McColl said the new company would reach 100 million customers or 40 percent of the American population.

"From Santa Fe to Savannah, customers will able to access their money," he said.

Competition from other banks, brokerage companies and companies like Ford and AT&T issuing their own credit cards forced the merger that experts say will put the two companies in a better position to compete.

Boatman's, based in St. Louis, was ranked 24th nationally with $41 billion in assets. Claiming to be the oldest bank west of the Mississippi River, the bank was founded in 1847 for riverboat workers.

Turnabout is fair play in the banking industry. For the past 10 years, Boatman's had been buying smaller banks and quadrupled its size. The company now is the largest bank in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico.

Locally, McCoig said he was unsure if Boatman's would retain its namesake or how the merger would affect customer's checking and savings accounts.

"But it is going to be the same for quite some time," he said.

Company officials said they expect the deal to be completed by the beginning of next year after regulators and shareholders give their seal of approval.