The buy-out vehicles of US billionaire tycoons Ron Burkle and Wilbur Ross have partnered to invest $50m each in Amalgamated Bank, America’s only union-owned bank.
Private equity firms Yucaipa and WL Ross will each acquire a 20 per cent share of the common stock in Amalgamated Bank, which has 27 retail branches including 20 located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens in New York City.
The company was established in 1923 by the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, and is an FDIC insured commercial bank with $4.5bn in assets. Its investment management division serves more Taft-Hartley pension plans than any other US money manager.
“We have enjoyed close relationships over the years with many unions and believe that Amalgamated can become a major institution by providing the increasingly sophisticated services and products needed by unions and their members. We are delighted to provide the bank with capital and ideas,” said Ross.
Burkle added, “At a time when access to quality financial services is more important than ever to American workers and their families, Yucaipa is pleased to participate in a transaction that will provide Amalgamated Bank with additional capital to further expand its lending capacity. Amalgamated’s long history of union ownership places it in a unique position to serve the financial needs of America’s labor organisations, the pension fund community, and working people throughout our nation.”
At the beginning of August, WL Ross announced it had joined investors including First Reserve, China Investment, Fairfax, Morgan Creek Capital Management and PPM America Capital Partners in a $1bn investment in energy-focused logistics group Diamond S Shipping.
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