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PacWest Bancorp Acquires Marquette Equipment Finance

January 04, 2012, 06:30 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

PacWest Bancorp announced, its subsidiary, Pacific Western Bank, completed the acquisition of Marquette Equipment Finance, or MEF, a specialty equipment leasing company located in Midvale, Utah. MEF focuses on business-essential equipment leases throughout the United States with transactions primarily in the mid-ticket segment.

Pacific Western acquired all of the capital stock of MEF from Meridian Bank, N.A. for $35 million in cash. MEF's tangible net assets at December 31, 2011 were approximately $18 million.

At December 31, 2011, MEF had approximately $166 million in gross leases outstanding, with no leases on nonaccrual status. MEF's leases are spread across 18 industries, with the top three being financial services/insurance, manufacturing, and health care and representing 68% of the lease portfolio balance. The weighted average yield on the lease portfolio at year end was approximately 9% and its weighted average remaining maturity was 34 months. In addition, Pacific Western Bank assumed $154 million in outstanding debt and other liabilities.

Matt Wagner, Chief Executive Officer of PacWest Bancorp, commented, "Marquette Equipment Finance is a terrific fit for Pacific Western Bank. Its conservative approach to credit and the strength of the management team have made Marquette Equipment Finance into a solid performing equipment leasing company. MEF's leasing platform provides a valuable additional growth channel for us and enhances both the categorical and geographical diversification of our loan portfolio. We look forward to adding their expertise to our organization and giving them the opportunity to grow further."

Vic Santoro, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PacWest Bancorp, stated, "The acquisition of MEF augments our commercial loan assets, deploys excess liquidity into higher yielding assets and will have a positive effect on our net interest margin. We expect that we will enhance MEF's overall profitability through the use of our low-cost funding base."

Jim Christensen, President of Marquette Equipment Finance, said, "MEF is thrilled to be part of the PacWest organization. The MEF employees look forward to making a meaningful contribution to the combined organization going forward."
MEF will continue operating under the name Marquette Equipment Finance as a subsidiary of Pacific Western Bank on a temporary basis. Pacific Western has committed to change MEF's name within one year. MEF will maintain its focus on equipment finance.

Pacific Western has retained all 71 MEF employees. MEF's president, Jim Christensen, and its executive vice president and chief financial officer, Christian Emery, will continue in those responsibilities with MEF.

PacWest currently operates two commercial finance companies as a result of the acquisitions of BFI Business Finance, an asset-based lender located in San Jose, CA, in 2007 and First Community Financial Corp., an asset-based lender and factoring company located in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2004.

Milestone Advisors represented Meridian Bank and Marquette Equipment Finance in the transaction

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