White River Capital calls off First Chicago deal

Indianapolis-based White River Capital Inc. has quietly called off its merger with Itasca, Ill.-based First Chicago Bancorp.

White River buys subprime loans from auto dealers, primarily through its Virginia Beach, Va.-based subsidiary Coastal Credit. In June 2008, it announced plans to be acquired by First Chicago. At that time, First Chicago, which has seven branches, offered two of its shares for each share of White River’s stock.

As the economic downturn escalated, the two weakened companies postponed their deal and attempted to negotiate new terms. Then, on June 2, White River formally notified First Chicago it was calling off the merger.

“The parties were unable to agree upon mutually acceptable alternative terms,” White River’s filing reads. “No termination fees were incurred by either party as a result of the termination of the merger agreement.”

White River’s shares, which trade on AMEX under the symbol RVR, trade in the $13 range, or about $2 less than they did a year ago.

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