Los Angeles Business Journal

Wilshire Bancorp to Buy Saehan

By Deborah Crowe Monday, July 15, 2013

Wilshire Bancorp Inc. said Monday that it has agreed to buy Saehan Bancorp, a competing Koreatown bank, in a stock-and-cash deal valued at more than $105 million.

The holding company of Wilshire State Bank said after the markets closed that it would pay the equivalent of 42 cents a share for the holding company of Saehan Bank. Saehan shareholders will receive about $50.4 million in cash and about 7.2 million shares of Wilshire common stock.

The combined company will have approximately $3.5 billion in assets with 35 branches, although certain locations are expected to be consolidated. Saehan, which struggled with bad commercial loans during the recession, turned a narrow net profit last year. It was released in April from the tighter scrutiny of a consent order with federal and state banking regulators that had been in place since January 2011.

The bank had been seeking cash infusion or other strategic partnership for months. A deal with Hana Financial Group of Seoul to acquire a 51 percent stake in Saehan fell through in April 2012.

Wilshire said the merger, expected to be completed by year’s end pending shareholder and regulatory approvals, would be immediately accretive to earnings per share in the first year, with double-digit accretion in subsequent years.

“Saehan Bank has been a respected competitor for years and we believe their operations will add significant value to the Wilshire State Bank franchise," Wilshire Chief Executive Jae Whan Yoo said in a statement. “With significant overlap in our operations, we believe that we will have a high level of cost savings opportunities that will enhance the combined bank's earnings power.”

Wilshire has another acquisition in the works, last month signing an agreement to buy BankAsiana, a small Korean-American bank holding company in Palisades Park, N.J., for $32.5 million.

Wilshire shares earlier closed up 1 cent to $7.65. Saehan’s share price was unchanged from its Friday close of 44 cents.