The proposed $16-million acquisition of CommerceBank by Independence Bank fell through Wednesday, marking the second time this year that the Encino-based Independence has failed to complete negotiations to acquire a Newport Beach bank.
Executives at both banks said they were far apart on many issues and decided to call off the talks a day before the deal was due to expire under terms of a letter of intent signed in early November.
"We were not looking for anyone when Independence came to us," said Clyde H. Gossert, president of CommerceBank. "But they made us a very attractive offer, and the directors wanted to consider it."
Independence, however, withdrew the original offer, and CommerceBank was not interested in talking about any other deal, he said.
CommerceBank has been a steadily growing, profitable bank--the biggest independent based in Orange County in the last two years. Most industry observers believed it would acquire other banks, not sell itself.