The Investors Bank merger with the Bank of Princeton, announced in May, could be blocked by a shareholder. Investors Bancorp announced in a September 1 SEC filing that businessman James Michael Goodson had filed a notice that he intends to buy a 25 percent stake in the Bank of Princeton, then vote against the $154 million takeover.
“We have reason to believe that Mr. Goodson is seeking FDIC approval to acquire up to 24.9 percent of the outstanding common stock of the Bank of Princeton for the purpose of voting against the merger agreement and causing it to be terminated,” the company wrote in the “risk factors” section of an S-4 filing with regulators.
Leaders at both banks had expected the deal to be completed late in 2016. Investors, based in Short Hills, had planned to acquire the 13-branch Bank of Princeton, which was founded in 2007 (U.S. 1, May 11, 2016.) The cash-and-stock buyout would have been a three-fold return for anyone who initially invested in the bank in 2006.
Goodson is best known as the CEO of Crest Ultrasonics, the Ewing-based manufacturer of ultrasonic cleaning machines (www.crest-ultrasonics.com). After Goodson took the company over in the 1980s in an investment banking deal, he turned it into a multinational corporation with branches in Britain, China, and Malaysia. Goodson has donated generously to his alma mater, Duke University, and the school has named its law library after him.
Most recently, Goodson made the news by suing Donald Trump over a Florida real estate deal gone bad. According to news reports, Goodson put a $345,000 deposit on a condo at the Trump International Hotel in Fort Lauderdale. However, the project was never built, and Goodson was left with nothing but a brochure to show for his investment.
It turned out that Trump was only licensing his name to the builders of the project, and a court ruled he wasn’t responsible for reimbursing Goodson and other buyers. In February Goodson told reporters he was appealing the decision.