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Wells to Buy Bank in Texas

September 03, 2004|From Bloomberg News

Wells Fargo & Co., the fourth-largest U.S. bank, said Thursday that it had agreed to pay $124 million in stock to buy First Community Capital Corp., a closely held, Houston-based banking company with $553 million in assets.

"First Community has a superb reputation for commercial banking and other financial services," said Glenn Godkin, regional president for Wells Fargo in Houston. "Our cultures are a great match."

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, New York-based Citigroup Inc. and other large U.S. commercial banks have been expanding in Texas and Florida to take advantage of growing Latino communities. Citigroup last month agreed to buy Bryan, Texas-based First American Bank, which has $3.5 billion in assets, for an undisclosed sum.

First Community has 210 employees, 17 branches in the Clear Lake and NASA's Johnson Space Center near Houston. It was established in Pearland, Texas, in 1995 with $3.2 million in capital.

The transaction is set to be completed by the first quarter of 2005, Wells Fargo said. The company has 103 branches and 11,000 employees in Texas.

Wells Fargo's second-quarter profit rose 12% to $1.71 billion on consumer lending and fees from insurance and managing investments for individuals.

Its stock rose 59 cents to $59.42 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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