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Greater Buffalo Savings Bank merger deal gets OK

Federal regulators have given the first thumbs-up to the planned merger of Greater Buffalo Savings Bank with a California firm that is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bay View Capital Corp. of San Mateo, Calif., agreed in October to acquire Greater Buffalo in a $67.1 million deal that would effectively leave the savings bank intact and its management in charge. Under the proposal, Greater Buffalo, which would gain $100 million in capital, would remain based here and would be 40 percent owned by its current shareholders.

In its recent decision, the Federal Reserve Board approved Bay View's creation of a new bank holding company, which will acquire Greater Buffalo Savings Bank and then immediately change its name to Great Lakes Bancorp, the current name of the savings bank's parent.

Officials are still awaiting state approval of the transaction. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission also must approve the proxy statement that will be mailed to Great Lakes shareholders, who will vote on the transaction at a special meeting on March 28. The transaction is slated to close in early April.

Officials are also awaiting confirmation of the company's new ticker symbol on the NYSE, which is expected to be GLK.

e-mail: jepstein@buffnews.com

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