The stubble for control of Financial General Bankshares Inc. is focusing on one man, who began buying the banking company's stock in the early 1930s and now controls more than 10 percent of FGB, the second largest banking company in the Washington area.
He is Eugene B. Casey, a farmer, builder, developer and engineer with an office in Gaithersburg and in investment in Financial General that is worth upwards of $8 million.
"I'm the man in the middle, that's what both sides tell me," Casey admits.
Financial General executives courted Casey yesterday, and former budget director Bert Lance twice has sought Casey's support for a rival group reportedly seeking to take over the company.
After Financial General Chairman B. F. Saul, who owns about 11 percent of the stock, Casey is the largest single shareholder.
Without Casey's support, sources close to the company say, it would be virtually impossible for the group represented by Lance to oust the Financial General team headed by Saul and President J. William Middendorf.
Casey said yesterday he has told Lance he's not interested in selling, but could cast the deciding vote on who controls the company.
Casey reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission show, had methodically increased his holdings in Financial General. Less than a year ago, he owned 457,000 shares of common stock and another 102,000 shares of Cass A stock. Casey said his next report will show he owns 510, shares of common and 115,000 of Class A.
Financial General board member Eugene Metzger says a group of investors (also represented by Lance) has bought about 15 percent of the stock.