Former IndyMac Said to Fail to Find Buyer After Informal Talks

OneWest Bank FSB, the lender once known as IndyMac Bancorp Inc., failed to find a buyer after holding informal talks with at least three suitors, according to people familiar with the matter.

OneWest’s owners had sought to determine whether they could best recoup their investment through a sale or an IPO, said the people, who asked not to be named as the process was private. UnionBanCal Corp. and U.S. Bancorp (USB) both held talks with OneWest, people familiar with the matter said in February. New York Community Bancorp Inc. also spoke with OneWest, one person said.

“The company is focused on its business plan and becoming a public company in 2014,” said Charles Sipkins, a spokesman for the Pasadena, California-based lender at Sard Verbinnen & Co. A spokesman for New York Community declined to comment, while representatives at UnionBanCal and U.S. Bancorp didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

OneWest joins other banks with less than $50 billion in assets such as First NBC Bank Holding Co., First Northwest Bancorp and Tristate Capital Holdings Inc. in planning U.S. IPOs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. A bank hasn’t raised more than $100 million in a U.S. IPO since Capital Bank Financial Corp. completed a $189 million sale in September, the data show.

OneWest had almost 80 branches and about $26 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The FDIC seized IndyMac after a run on the bank in 2008 and sold it to an investor group led by OneWest Chairman Steve Mnuchin, a former partner with Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Mnuchin’s consortium included Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell, financier J.C. Flowers and billionaires George Soros and John Paulson. The group invested $1.55 billion in IndyMac and renamed it OneWest.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Monks in New York at mmonks1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey McCracken at jmccracken3@bloomberg.net

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