Skip to main content

Viejas purchases Borrego Springs Bank, N.A.

  • Author:
  • Updated:

LA MESA, Calif. - Borrego Springs Bank, N.A. recently announced a reverse
split of its common stock. The reverse stock split will result in all of
the minority shareholders receiving cash for their shares, leaving 100
percent ownership of the bank with its majority shareholder, the Viejas
Band of Kumeyaay Indians. The Viejas General Council voted that the tribe
will provide the additional capital necessary to complete this transaction.

The bank's shareholders will meet to vote on the reverse stock split. If
the shareholders vote to approve the reverse stock split, and subject to
regulatory approval, the reverse stock split is expected to be effective in
the fourth quarter of 2004. The bank has set the price to be paid for the
shares of the minority shareholders at $22 per pre-split share. The price
will be supported by an opinion of the bank's financial advisor that the
price is fair to the minority shareholders from a financial point of view.

"Over the years, the bank has had the support of many shareholders who
remained loyal during difficult times," stated William P. Ruhlman II,
president and chief operating officer. "With the past few years showing
significant improvement in the bank's operations and a return to
profitability, we are pleased that this transaction will allow them to
enjoy a significant return on their investment."

"The Viejas Band is extremely appreciative of our business relationship
with both the Borrego Springs' shareholders and board members. Not only did
the shareholders give us the trust and support needed to move the bank
forward, but they also shared a wealth of expertise with us. Trust and
expertise, we needed to pioneer a new banking path into the emerging Native
American economy," said Anthony R. Pico, chairman of Viejas and board
member of Borrego Springs Bank.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

Pico noted that, as the first majority-owned Native American Bank in
California, "The success of our trail-breaking partnership has proven that
the bank is definitely moving in the right direction and staking out a
leadership position and strong market niche, one that had never been
explored or previously available to the industry."

Ruhlman continued, "The support the Bank has received from the Viejas Tribe
has allowed the bank to become the solid financial entity that it is today.
This transaction, enabling Viejas to become the sole owner, is a natural
transition for the bank and the tribe."

Borrego Springs Bank is a commercial bank serving east San Diego County
with branch offices in Borrego Springs, La Mesa and Alpine. The Bank's
Indian Gaming Services division offers a full line of cash access services
utilizing some of the most advanced technology in the industry.

Borrego Springs Bank has developed and tailored banking programs and
specific services designed to meet the unique needs of the entrepreneurial
growth of American Indian tribes. The bank has also been instrumental in
assisting American Indians in developing economic opportunities and in
financing tribal government projects.