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Majority Interest Sold in List Bank for $4.8 Million

January 14, 1987|JAMES S. GRANELLI | Times Staff Writer

Beleaguered real estate speculator Martin List, who filed for bankruptcy protection last week, has agreed to sell his controlling stake in an Orange County bank to a San Antonio family in a deal valued at almost $4.8 million--the same price he paid for it about a year ago.

List, who bought more than 95% of Orange City Bank and renamed it List American Bank, has agreed to sell his 450,000 shares to Emmanuel Nicherie and his son, Daniel Nicherie, for $10.61 a share.

Full details of the agreement could not be determined Tuesday. Neither List nor the Nicheries could be reached for comment.

The Chapter 11 filing does not affect List American Bank, said William Diethrich, the bank's president.

The Nicheries own Diagnostic Centers of America, a nationwide series of outpatient imaging clinics--including an office in Huntington Beach--and have a number of real estate and other investments, said Gary Steven Findley, a Brea lawyer retained by the parties 10 days ago to prepare applications for regulatory approval.

Findley said he does not expect any major changes in personnel at the bank. Diethrich said the bank's name will be changed again, however.

Findley said List and the Nicheries had reached a sale agreement in October, when List sold 11.6% of his stock to the Texas family for a price that has not yet been disclosed. The Nicheries since have become directors of the bank.

List owes $3.1 million on three promissory notes he signed in December, 1985, when he bought most of his shares in the bank from the Robert Graham family and associates in Carlsbad.

He subsequently put $1 million cash into the troubled bank to raise its capital above the minimum level allowed by regulators. And he paid an additional $650,000 early last year to pick up his remaining shares in the bank.

Under the sale agreement, the Nicheries will take over the payments on the $3.1 million in notes. Neither Findley nor Diethrich could say how the remaining $1.7 million will be paid to List.

List had made millions in Colorado real estate, where he owns some 7,700 acres, and has projects in Arizona and Southern California, including a Holiday Inn being built in Huntington Beach.

But recent reversals, a severe cash-flow problem and an inability to get high-interest loans refinanced without paying substantial prepayment penalties led him to file a petition Jan. 6 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana to reorganize his debts under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws.

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