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May 31, 1998

BankAmerica Sells Robertson Stephens for $800 Million

By Staff reports

Only 12 months after San Francisco's BankAmerica purchased Robertston, Stephens & Co. for $540 million, it is selling the investment-banking firm for an estimated $800 to BankBoston Corporation.

Robertson Stephens had been on the block since BankAmerica announced in April its $59 billion merger with Charlotte-based NationsBanc Corp.

The investment bank was uncomfortable with the merger between its parent and NationsBanc, which owns Montgomery Securities, a Robertson Stephens competitor. Nationsbanc acquired Montgomery last July for $1.2 billion.

It was widely rumored after the merger announcement that the two investment banks, both specializing in healthcare and technology research and based in San Francisco, would not compete as affiliated outfits.

The price being paid for Robertson Stephens will include a $400 million cash payment by Boston-based BankBoston, an additional $300 million paid over four years and $100 million in stock options at market price.

Robertson Stephens will still be based in San Francisco, and will be folded into BankBoston Securities. The firm will be renamed BankBoston Robertson Stephens.