DOWNEY, Calif., Aug. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Meruelo Group, a privately-held and minority-owned management company founded and led by Latino business executive Alex Meruelo, today announced it helped fund the recapitalization of Pan American Bank (OTCQB: PAMB), the oldest Latino-owned bank in the Western United States. Through the Meruelo Group's business holding in Commercial Bank of California, one of the most-well capitalized community banks in the country, CBC was one of 16 financial institutions involved in the $6.3 million recapitalization of Pan American Bank. The transaction was an unprecedented historic first in the nation where peer banks rallied to recapitalize a community bank serving ethnic and underserved populations.
"We are very proud of our investment in Pan American Bank, which serves a community that we have been doing business in for more than 30 years," said Alex Meruelo, Chairman and CEO of The Meruelo Group, and founding Shareholder and Director of Commercial Bank of California. "As Latino business owners, it is important that we ensure banks like Pan American Bank can continue to meet the financial needs of Latino customers, especially here in Los Angeles where Latinos make up over half of the population."
Xavier Gutierrez, President and Chief Investment Officer of Meruelo Investment Partners and a Director of Commercial Bank of California said, "With 50 years in East Los Angeles, Pan American Bank is a landmark community bank and through our investment, we want to help ensure that Latinos have the financial services and products they need to advance their personal and business interests."
Founded in 1964 by former United States Treasurer Romana Banuelos, Pan American Bank is California's oldest Latino community bank. The Banuelos Family Trust remains the largest shareholder of Pan American Bank.
"As we celebrate our 50th year in banking, it means everything to have the backing and support of our investors, especially of a Latino-owned and led enterprise like the Meruelo Group," said Cesar Rosas, Senior Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations of Pan American Bank. "Their support of our mission to serve underserved communities is the reason why our doors remain open to continue our business of helping the Hispanic community with all their banking needs."
"When you invest in a lending institution such as Pan American, you're also investing in the communities it serves," said Ash Patel, President of the Community Bank of California. "We're very proud and excited to have this opportunity to invest and service such a vibrant and growing community."
"Pan American Bank, a Community Development Financial Institution, has been committed to serving the Latino community for decades. I am pleased to hear that it has been recapitalized and will continue serving the East L.A. community and the entire region with strong financial products," said U.S. Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard.
About Meruelo Group
Meruelo Group is a privately-held management company serving a diversified portfolio of affiliated entities with interests in banking and financial services, food services; manufacturing, distribution and restaurant operations, construction and engineering, hospitality and gaming, real estate management and development, media; television and radio, and public and private equity investing. For more information please visit www.meruelogroup.com.
About Commercial Bank of California
Commercial Bank of California is a full-service community bank headquartered in Costa Mesa, California and is the private bank for small businesses. Delivering personalized, relationship-based banking, Commercial Bank of California has two branches in Orange County to serve dynamic businesses both small and large. Commercial Bank of California is an FDIC-insured institution and funds deposited in the bank are insured up to the FDIC's insurance limit of $250,000 per depositor. For more information, go to www.combancal.com.
SOURCE Meruelo Group