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American Express to Buy Rockford Industries

November 11, 1998|Bloomberg News

American Express Co. agreed to buy Santa Ana-based Rockford Industries Inc., which finances and leases equipment for small businesses, expanding its small-business services and adding a new sales channel. American Express, a New York-based travel and financial services company, will pay Rockford shareholders about $61 million in stock, or the equivalent of $11.88 a share. It said Rockford will become an American Express subsidiary. As of June 30, American Express lent $1.3 billion to small-business owners through credit cards, equipment financing and lines of credit. Rockford lends money to small-business owners through more than 1,000 vendors and manufacturers, such as Allergan Inc., Bergen Brunswig Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. The company reported net income of $2.1 million last year when it made $166.7 million in new loans. Rockford shares rose 44 cents to close at $11.31 on Nasdaq; American Express shares fell $1.94 to close at $93.06 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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