A group of investors led by former White House Protocol chief Abelardo Valdez and Dr. Jose Solano, an area physician, have agreed to buy control of Hemisphere National Bank. Washinton's only Hispanic-owned financial institution.
In four separate but interrelated transactions, the Vandez-Solano group plans to pay almost $3 million for 67 percent of the stock of the bank, located at 815 Connecticut Ave., said attorney Jeffery J. Milton.
Sale of Hemisphere National to the group was negotitated after the failure of plans to sell control of the bank to a group headed by 31-year-old Washinton investor Jeffery N. Cohen.
Cohen last December disclosed he had obtained options to buy the Hemisphere stock owned by a group of shareholders who owned nearly 60 percent of Hemisphere.
But under the agreement announced yesterday, options to buy that stock and additional shares have been granted to the Valdez-Solano group.
Valdez was Chief of Protocol in the Carter White House and administration for Latin America of the Agency for International Development Solano is chairman of Mid Atlantic Nephrology Center, Ltd.
Other members of the group include attorney Joseph D. Tydings, the former U.S. Senator from Maryland and Robert N. Wolpe, a present member of the Hemisphere board.
Milton said that group has agreed -- subject to the approval of federal regulators -- to exercise options to buy 42 percent of the shares of Hemispheres. In addition, Wolpe has an option to buy another 25 percent of the stock.
The buyers are to pay between $28 and $29 a share for approximately 100,000 shares of the stock, a total of about $3 million.
The investors selling their interest in Hemisphere included: Nestor Julio Garcia, an Argentine banker who is Hemisphere's biggest stockholder with 28 percent; Washington construction company owner Angel S. Roubin, who owns 10 percent of Hemisphere; Leveo Sanchez, chairman and president of the bank, with 14 percent and several of their associates.
Milton said Sanchez has been asked to remain chief executive of Hempisphere and both Sanchez and Roubin were urged to stay on the bank's board of directors.