Buyer of Chicago’s Amalgamated Bank scraps deal

The proposed $98.1 million sale couldn’t get regulatory approval, said the would-be acquirer, Amalgamated Financial of New York.

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Amalgamated Bank of Chicago’s headquarters, 30 N. LaSalle St.

Amalgamated Bank of Chicago’s headquarters, 30 N. LaSalle St.


The planned $98.1 million sale of Amalgamated Bank of Chicago has been scrapped.

The would-be buyer, Amalgamated Financial in New York, said in a brief announcement Friday that it could not obtain regulatory approval of the sale, so it “is no longer proceeding with the transaction.” When the deal was announced in September, the banks had said they hoped it would close by the end of 2021.

But Chicago’s Amalgamated issued a statement late Friday insisting the sale can move forward. “The terms of our agreement with Amalgamated Financial Corp. are clear on what triggers termination of this sale,” it said. “They have not met that threshold as the door on addressing issues raised by the FDIC to obtain regulatory approval is still open.

“Amalgamated Financial has an obligation to address those issues, which we believe are not financial in nature, and move forward with refiling their application with the FDIC. Our goal is to help them overcome the issues that have been raised and we are confident that the sale can get back on track.”

The institutions have similar names and histories but have never been affiliated. Both were founded in the 1920s by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, now called Workers United, and have maintained a business base with labor unions.

There was no immediate comment from Amalgamated New York. It announced the sale was being dropped in a release issued after the close of Friday’s stock trading. The shares last traded at $17.39.

Amalgamated Chicago has assets of $1.6 billion. Last year, Chairman and CEO Robert Wrobel told the Sun-Times that unions and the Chicago Federation of Labor constitute about 15% of its ownership.

Private investors mostly bought out the clothing workers union in the 1960s, but the bank brought more labor groups into ownership in 2003. Its headquarters is at 30 N. LaSalle St. and it has a branch in Warrenville.

In 2021, it listed in federal reports that it had 167 employees. Wrobel said then that the sale would necessitate layoffs, but less than would be required if a local competitor bought the bank.

Amalgamated New York has assets of $7.1 billion and is 40% owned by Workers United.

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