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) --

U.S. Bancorp

(USB) - Get Free Report

has been conducting due diligence on

FBOP Corp.

, the owner of eight banks in Arizona, California, Illinois and Texas, that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has been gathering bids for, the

Wall Street Journal


The FDIC is gathering and reviewing bids for the banks, both as a group and individually, in case regulators decide their financial problems are insurmountable, the


reports, citing people familiar with the situation.

Bids were due Tuesday, but it wasn't clear if U.S. Bancorp made an offer, the



The closely held banks of FBOP, of Oak Park, Ill., have about $18 billion in combined assets and 150 branches, according to the newspaper.

An acquisition of FBOP combined with three purchases U.S. Bancorp has made since last November would be roughly equivalent in size to

Synovus Financial

(SNV) - Get Free Report

, one of the 25 largest U.S. banks, the


notes. U.S. Bancorp has $263 billion in assets and 2,850 branches.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York


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