On The Block

Pacific Capital Bancorp’s (Nasdaq: PCBC) board plans to identify and evaluate its strategic alternatives and has hired Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP to serve as its financial adviser. The options being considered are designed to strengthen the bank holding company’s capital base and enhance shareholder value. The Santa Barbara, Calif.-based company operates 46 retail bank branches. For the second quarter, the company’s losses widened to $362.6 million from $5.9 million a year earlier. The loss in the latest period reflects an increase in its allowance for loan losses due to the weakness in California’s economy and housing market.

With management having substantial doubt about the company’s ability to remain a going concern, Colonial BancGroup Inc. (NYSE: CNB) is mulling its options, including a merger or sale. The Montgomery, Ala.-based bank holding company has tapped Citigroup Global Markets Inc. as its financial adviser. On August 6, the company, which operates 355 branches in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Nevada and Texas, acknowledged an ongoing federal criminal investigation of its mortgage warehouse lending unit and said it intends to cooperate with the probe. At that time, Colonial BancGroup also cautioned it could be put under FDIC receivership. The company’s second-quarter loss widened to $606 million from a $168.4 million loss posted in the first quarter.

Seajacks International Ltd.’s board plans to evaluate its strategic alternatives and has hired Credit Suisse and First Securities as financial advisers to help with a review of options. Seajacks is considering merger opportunities as well as the sale of the Hamilton, Bermuda-based company, which is listed on the Oslo exchange. For the first quarter, Seajacks’ losses narrowed to $512,000 from $4.6 million a year earlier. It generated operating revenue of $3.4 million for the latest period compared to none a year ago. The company owns and operates jack-up vessels used in the oil and gas industry in locations with environmentally harsh conditions. Its core market is in the North Sea.

4Kids Entertainment Inc. (NYSE: KDE) has engaged Montgomery & Co. to help it evaluate strategic alternatives. Options on the table include asset sales, alliance with partners and the sale or merger of the New York-based company. 4Kids develops, produces, distributes and licenses entertainment products (such as animated television programs, films and trading card games) for children. For the first quarter, 4Kids’ total revenue fell to $10.2 million from $15 million a year earlier. Its licensing revenue was flat from a year ago, while its trading card business is hurting from the recession. 4Kids doesn’t plan to speak about the process until its conclusion.