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STERLING BANCORP ACQUIRES ZENITH FINANCIAL CORPORATION

 NEW YORK and GREAT NECK, N.Y., March 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Sterling Bancorp (NYSE: STL), whose principal subsidiary is Sterling National Bank & Trust Company of New York, today announced that it has agreed to acquire the business of Zenith Financial Corporation, a national provider of consumer receivables financing, Zenith's loan portfolio currently exceeds $17 million.
 Under the transaction, which is subject to Federal Reserve Bank approval, Sterling is purchasing the assets of Zenith, which is privately held and based in Great Neck, Long Island, N.Y.
 Louis J. Cappelli, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Sterling Bancorp, said, "Sterling's acquisition of Zenith, a well- established company that has been financing consumer receivables on a national basis for 33 years, is a natural extension of our other financial services businesses, and an important strategic move for us in several respects.
 "First, it strengthens our market position, and builds upon our own extensive experience, in a business that offers attractive margins.
 "Second, the transaction is a further step, following our recently announced business combination with Continental Bank of Garden City, L.I., N.Y., in our acquisition strategy.
 Third, Sterling will benefit not only from income derived from Zenith's loan portfolio -- a portfolio we intend to significantly expand -- but from its expertise in consumer receivables financing, its strong back-office operations, and the proprietary software Zenith has developed for monitoring retail installment lending."
 Upon the consummation of the transaction, Zenith's vice president, John P. Murphy, will become president of the Zenith Financial Division of Sterling Bancorp and a member of Sterling's senior management team.
 Zenith Financial Corporation, founded in 1959, is licensed by the New York State Department of Banking. It provides financing to dealers serving a number of market sectors, including households, schools and institutions, and for a variety of products, including educational and teaching aids, housewares and consumer electronics.
 Sterling National Bank & Trust Company of New York, with offices in Manhattan and Queens, has been serving the banking needs of middle- market companies and high-net-worth individuals in the New York area since 1929.
 -0- 3/25/93
 /CONTACT: Roy Winnick, or Robert Siegfried of Kekst & Company, 212-593-2655, for Sterling Bancorp/
 (STL)


CO: Sterling Bancorp; Zenith Financial Corporation ST: New York IN: FIN SU: TNM

LD-TM -- NY006 -- 9381 03/25/93 08:01 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 25, 1993
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