NATIONAL BANCORP OF ALASKA AND WELLS FARGO ANNOUNCE DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT TO MERGE
SAN FRANCISCO — January 12, 2000
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) moved one step closer to returning to Alaska today with the announcement that it has signed a definitive agreement to merge with National Bancorp of Alaska, Inc. (NASDAQ: NBAK).
The announcement comes three weeks after the companies said they had signed a letter of intent to merge.
"We believe Wells Fargo is the ideal partner for us as we prepare for the challenges and opportunities of this new century," said Edward Rasmuson, chairman of National Bancorp of Alaska. "The new Wells Fargo has developed a nationwide reputation for its customer and community focus, innovative technology, diversity of businesses and financial strength. Like NBA, Wells Fargo has grown and prospered by investing in individuals and businesses and helping them succeed financially. Our alliance with Wells Fargo will bring Alaskans new services and expanded opportunities - all delivered and managed locally by the same people who have an ongoing commitment to Alaska."
"We look forward to welcoming National Bancorp of Alaska's employees to the Wells Fargo team," said John Nelson, group executive vice president and head of Wells Fargo's Western Banking Group. "They have made National Bancorp of Alaska the largest and best banking company in Alaska. We look forward to working with them in the years to come to satisfy all of the financial needs of their customers and help their customers succeed financially."
Headquartered in Anchorage, National Bancorp of Alaska has more than $3 billion in assets and 1,250 employees. It owns National Bank of Alaska, which has 53 banking stores; 130 ATMs; a full-service branch in Seattle; and insurance, mortgage, finance and leasing subsidiaries.
The companies expect to complete the merger in the second quarter of this year. The merger requires approval from banking regulators and National Bancorp of Alaska shareholders. Wells Fargo will exchange $30 worth of its common stock for each outstanding share of the common stock of National Bancorp of Alaska, for a total purchase price of approximately $907 million.
National Bancorp of Alaska's senior management will continue operating the company after the merger. The company will eventually convert to Wells Fargo's computer systems and change its name to Wells Fargo, but a definite date for that has not yet been established.
Returning to Alaska
When completed, the merger will return Wells Fargo to a state in which it once had an extensive presence. After opening a small number of offices in Alaska in 1883, Wells Fargo purchased the Alaska Pacific Express Company and its 32 offices in 1911 to serve the growing markets there.
In those days, Wells Fargo transported goods, mail and money for its customers through a nationwide network of stagecoaches, trains, ships and pony express. Wells Fargo connected its network to Alaska by using both dog sleds and horse-drawn sleds. Miners in Alaska relied on Wells Fargo to ship out their gold and to bring in goods and mail.
Wells Fargo continued to operate its Alaska offices until 1918 when the federal government, as a wartime measure, nationalized all of the country's express companies into a single, federal entity. Overnight, Wells Fargo had to sell almost all of its operations, except for its banking business in San Francisco.
Wells Fargo has grown through the years to become a $207 billion diversified financial services company. It provides banking, insurance, investment, mortgage and consumer finance services through almost 6,000 stores, the Internet (www.wellsfargo.com) and other distribution channels across North America, including all 50 states, and elsewhere internationally.