Amalgamated's current Chief Executive Ed Grebow also has a background of investing in and managing operations of union owned companies. As a managing director at restructuring specialist J.C. Flowers & Company, Grebow presided over Ullico, a struggling insurance company under union ownership.

In a press release announcing the deal, Grebow said, "The investments by Yucaipa and WL Ross will enable the Bank to comfortably exceed the increased required capital levels established in our agreements with the New York State Banking Department and the FDIC." He added that, "This will provide the investors with the opportunity to earn an attractive return on their investment, while supporting the Bank's core mission of serving the labor movement, middle income and working families and progressive causes."

In the same announcement, Burkle said "Yucaipa is pleased to participate in a transaction that will provide Amalgamated Bank with additional capital to further expand its lending capacity. Amalgamated's long history of union ownership places it in a unique position to serve the financial needs of America's labor organizations."

-- Written by Antoine Gara in New York

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