HOUSTON – El Paso Corporation FCU said last year’s takeover of its corporate sponsor by pipeline giant Kinder Morgan forced the $125 million credit union to seek a merger mate and has asked regulators for permission to combine with $335 million First Service CU.

Kinder Morgan acquired El Paso Corp. a year ago for $21 billion, creating the world’s largest pipeline company, based in Houston.

Following the corporate merger, the credit union board investigated several possible options, including building a stand-along credit union absent a chief sponsor; liquidating the credit union and paying members a special dividend of all of the remaining capital; or finding a suitable merger partner, according to a letter sent to members by Kourtney Calhoun, president of the 64-year-old credit union. The Board decided the best course would be combining with Houston-based First Service, a 36-year-old credit union serving energy service providers KBR, Halliburton, CenterPoint, Baker Hughes and over 140 select groups, as well as surrounding Harris and Waller counties.

After completion of the merger, El Paso Corp. FCU members will be paid a merger dividend and the credit union’s single branch will be added to First Service CU’s 12 branches.

The merger has been approved by both boards and must still be voted by El Paso Corp. FCU members and approved by NCUA and the Texas CU Division.

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