The planned $98.1 million sale of the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago was scrapped.
The potential buyer, Amalgamated Financial in New York, said in a brief announcement on Friday that it could not obtain regulatory approval for the sale, so it “is no longer proceeding with the transaction.” When the deal was announced in September, the banks said they hoped it would be done by the end of 2021.
But Chicago’s Amalgamated released a statement late Friday insisting the sale can go ahead. “The terms of our agreement with Amalgamated Financial Corp. are clear as to what triggers the termination of this sale,” he said. “They have not met that threshold because the door to resolve the issues raised by the FDIC in order to obtain regulatory approval is still open.
“Amalgamated Financial has an obligation to resolve these issues, which we believe are not financial in nature, and to pursue their filing with the FDIC. Our goal is to help them overcome the issues that have been raised and we are confident that the sale can get back on track.
The institutions have similar names and histories but have never been affiliated. Both were founded in the 1920s by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, now called Workers United, and maintained a trade base with labor unions.
There was no immediate comment from Amalgamated New York. He announced that the sale was abandoned in a statement issued after the close of trading on Friday. The shares last traded at $17.39.
Amalgamated Chicago has assets of $1.6 billion. Last year, Chairman and CEO Robert Wrobel told the Sun-Times that unions and the Chicago Federation of Labor accounted for about 15% of his ownership.
Private investors mainly bought out the garment workers’ union in the 1960s, but the bank brought in more labor groups in 2003. Its headquarters are at 30 N. LaSalle St. and it has a branch in Warrenville.
In 2021, it indicated in federal reports that it had 167 employees. Wrobel then said the sale would require layoffs, but fewer than would be needed if a local competitor bought the bank.
Amalgamated New York has assets of $7.1 billion and is 40% owned by Workers United.