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Wednesday, March 10, 1999


French acquirer has
isle stake

Star-Bulletin staff

Tapa

Banque Nationale de Paris has a major stake in Hawaii's banking industry through its ownership of 45 percent of BancWest Corp., parent of First Hawaiian Bank.

BancWest is the new holding company that was formed in November when the French bank traded the original BancWest to what was then First Hawaiian Inc. in exchange for stock in the new company. As part of the deal, nine of the 20 BancWest directors were appointed by the French bank. BNP also holds the right to make a bid for complete ownership of BancWest in 2002, four years after the deal.

The merger created a holding company with $15 billion in assets and more than 200 bank branches, including First Hawaiian Bank in Hawaii and Guam and Bank of the West in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

The BancWest stock acquired by BNP was valued at $1 billion.



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