(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp.’s (BAC.N) agreement to pay $21 billion for the LaSalle Bank Corp. unit of Dutch bank ABN AMRO Holding NV AAH.AS constitutes the third major acquisition by Kenneth Lewis as Bank of America’s chief executive.
The purchase would give Bank of America the largest market share by deposits in the hotly competitive Chicago area, as well as in slower growing Michigan.
When he took over Bank of America in April 2001, Lewis was viewed as a measured, more cautious successor to Hugh McColl, whose appetite for dealmaking won him the nickname “Huge.”
But more than $100 billion of announced acquisitions have changed investors’ perception of Lewis, a Meridian, Mississippi native who turned 60 on April 9.
Through mergers and growth of existing businesses, he has transformed Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bank of America into the second-largest U.S. bank by assets and by far the nation’s largest retail bank. He has also won a reputation for smoothly integrating big acquisitions.
Bank of America briefly passed Citigroup Inc. (C.N) last November to become the world’s largest bank by market value, though it has since fallen back.
Citigroup ended March with $2.02 trillion of assets, while Bank of America had $1.5 trillion and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM.N), the third-largest U.S. bank, had $1.41 trillion.
The following are some of the largest acquisitions announced under Lewis’s tenure:
October 2003: FleetBoston Financial Corp., the seventh-largest U.S. bank, for about $48 billion. Transaction closed in April 2004. Fleet was based in Boston.
June 2005: MBNA Corp., the largest independent U.S. credit card issuer, for about $34.6 billion. Transaction closed at the beginning of 2006. MBNA was based in Wilmington, Delaware.
November 2006: U.S. Trust Corp., the private banking unit of Charles Schwab Corp. SCHW.O, for $3.3 billion. Transaction expected to close in the third quarter of 2007. U.S. Trust is based in New York, and Schwab in San Francisco.
April 2007: A 24.9 percent stake in SLM Corp. SLM.N, the student lender better known as Sallie Mae, for $2.2 billion. Transaction expected to close in the second half of 2007. Sallie Mae is based in Reston, Virginia.
April 2007: LaSalle, based in Chicago. Transaction expected to close in late 2007 or early 2008.