NEW YORK, April 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Amalgamated Bank, America's Labor Bank, today announced the closing of an investment in the Bank by WL Ross & Co. LLC and The Yucaipa Companies. Through their affiliates, the two firms have invested approximately $50 million each to purchase an aggregate of approximately 40% of Amalgamated Bank's common stock. This transaction has received all required approvals from regulatory authorities.
"With these investments, Amalgamated Bank's capital comfortably exceeds the required levels established in our agreements with the New York State Department of Financial Services and the FDIC," said Edward Grebow, Amalgamated Bank's President and CEO.
"Our strengthened capital base," Mr. Grebow continued, "translates directly into an opportunity to continue to expand our lending capacity and to pursue the strategic initiatives that we see driving additional revenue growth. For example, we will soon launch the Amalgamated Bank MoneyCard, a nationwide, prepaid debit card that will provide a convenient and lower cost way for unbanked union members and other working people to access and manage their money. Many of these people today are forced to rely on check cashing services and other high cost providers for everyday banking services."
Wilbur L. Ross, CEO and Chairman of WL Ross, said, "Amalgamated is well-positioned to meet the needs of specific segments of the population who are not well served by the major banks. The Bank will use its stronger capital base to meet this demand."
"At a time when access to quality financial services is more important than ever to American workers and their families, Yucaipa is pleased to participate in a transaction that will provide Amalgamated Bank with additional capital to further expand its lending capacity," said Ron Burkle of The Yucaipa Companies. "Amalgamated's long history of union ownership places it in a unique position to serve the financial needs of America's labor organizations, the pension fund community, and working people throughout our nation."
Noel Beasley, Amalgamated's Chairman and the President of Workers United, said, "For almost nine decades, our Bank has served the interests and met the financial needs of organized labor and its members. Now and in the future, union leaders, who make up the majority of our Board of Directors, will continue to chart the Bank's course."
This year, Amalgamated also plans to build an in-house, full-service home mortgage unit to provide affordable financing that meets the unique needs of homebuyers in the New York metropolitan area. This program will include an educational component to ensure that prospective homebuyers understand their borrowing options and make informed financing decisions.
Also, the Bank's Investment Management Division is developing a series of new products that can provide institutional clients and Taft-Hartley pension and employee benefit plans with access to a wider array of investment strategies. Capitalizing on the 20-year history of the LongView Funds, the Division plans to introduce additional equity and debt funds as well as a new construction loan fund that can potentially foster stronger economic development and create jobs for members of trade unions.
"Our new capital," Mr. Grebow commented, "will enable us to develop these and other products that can improve people's financial lives and help them build a better future for themselves and their families. By offering these types of services and actively supporting movements that advocate for positive change in our economy and society, we are staying true to our core mission: to serve organized labor, progressive causes, and local nonprofit groups, as well as the hard-working families and small businesses that are the backbone of this country."
About Amalgamated Bank
Established in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America and now owned by its successor organization, Workers United, Amalgamated Bank continues the progressive traditions of its founders as the only union-owned bank in the United States. Chartered by New York State, Amalgamated Bank is an FDIC insured commercial bank.
The Bank's corporate divisions include Commercial Banking, Commercial Real Estate Finance, Investment Management, Amalgamated Capital™, and Retail Banking. Amalgamated has 25 retail branches including 20 in New York City as well as branches in: Las Vegas, Nevada; Lyndhurst, New Jersey; Pasadena, California, and Washington, D.C. The Bank's website is www.amalgamatedbank.com. Also, follow Amalgamated Bank on Facebook and Twitter.
About WL Ross & Co. LLC
WL Ross is an investment affiliate of Invesco. Led by renowned investor Wilbur Ross, Jr., WL Ross' investment team has accomplished more than $300 billion of workouts around the world over the last 30 years. WL Ross has sponsored and managed more than $10 billion of equity investments in distressed securities. Visit www.wlross.com.
About The Yucaipa Companies
The Yucaipa Companies is an investment firm that has established a record of fostering economic value through the growth and responsible development of companies. Founded in 1986 by Ron Burkle, the firm has completed mergers and acquisitions valued at more than $30 billion. As an investor, Yucaipa works with management to strategically reposition businesses and implement operational improvements, resulting in value creation for investors. Visit www.yucaipaco.com.
SOURCE Amalgamated Bank