Los Angeles Business Journal

Hanmi Financial Seeks Suitors

By James Rufus Koren Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Koreatown’s Hanmi Financial Corp., the holding company that owns Hanmi Bank, is on the hunt for a buyer or merger, the company announced Wednesday.

The bank issued a press release saying it has hired financial adviser DelMorgan &Co. of Santa Monica to explore strategic options. Earlier, Bloomberg News reported Hanmi could attract interest from other Korean-American banks, including BBCN Bancorp., Wilshire Bancorp Inc. and Woori Financial Holdings Co.. Woori attempted to purchase Hanmi in 2010.

Unnamed sources in the Bloomberg article also mentioned South Korea’s Hana Financial Corp. as a potential buyer. That company, headquartered in Seoul, last year bought a controlling stake in Koreatown’s Saehan Bank, likely with the intention to expand in the United States.

Hanmi shares, which earlier closed up $1.14, or 8 percent, to $15.26 on the Nasdaq, fell 7.5 percent in afterhours trading.