CHATSWORTH, Calif.-NCUA is nearing a decision on a buyer for Telesis Community Credit Union's controlling interest in Autoland, an auto buying service owned by Telesis and other credit unions.

Both $318-million Telesis and Autoland are based here in this Los Angeles suburb. After Telesis was taken into conservatorship by the California Department of Financial Institutions on March 23, NCUA was made conservator. Two weeks later, NCUA contracted with Premier America CU, also headquartered here, to manage Telesis.

NCUA Spokesperson John Fairbanks said the regulator has been working since May 30 on an "orderly divestment of TCCU's controlling interest in Autoland."

The operation continues to function as it did prior to the conservatorship.

According to Fairbanks, liquidation of a business entity such as Autoland "presents unique challenges" as it seeks to obtain "fair value" for the company. He said NCUA is now down to a "few final serious bidders." "Price and terms continue to be negotiated in order to ascertain the final bidder and value received," he said.

NCUA is hoping to finalize any sale prior to 2012 year end, he added.

Although some earlier media reports stated one company was unhappy with not being allowed to bid on Autoland because it is neither a credit union nor a CUSO. Fairbanks said the regulator has "wide authority" and "wide discretion" to structure such sales.

This authority, NCUA said, "generally flows" from 12 USC sec. 1787 (b) and 1789.

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