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Sterling Bancorp to Buy $504MM in Commercial Loans, Origination Platform

January 24, 2019, 07:25 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

Sterling Bancorp, through its principal subsidiary, Sterling National Bank, announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the asset-based and equipment finance lending businesses of Woodforest National Bank in Texas.

As of Dec. 31, 2018, the balance of commercial loans and leases outstanding to be acquired was $504 million, with $339 million in asset-based loans and $165 million in equipment finance loans. The acquisition will add significant origination capabilities in the Midwest and Southwest regions to Sterling’s established national commercial lending platform, including a direct lending equipment finance sales and originations team.

Pro forma for the acquisition, Montebello, NY,-based Sterling will have a combined $1.1 billion in asset-based loans and $1.4 billion in equipment finance loans.

Jack Kopnisky, President and CEO of Sterling, said, “The acquisition of this business is consistent with our strategy of accelerating the transition of our balance sheet to a more diversified and higher-yielding commercial loan mix, and will augment strong organic origination volumes that we anticipate in our commercial businesses in 2019. We look forward to welcoming our new colleagues and customers to Sterling.”

“Delivering excellent service and financing flexibility to our national Commercial Finance clients is our primary goal," said Thomas X. Geisel, President, Corporate Banking Sterling National Bank. “This acquisition further strengthens our asset-based and equipment finance platforms, enhances our current footprint and expands our geographic reach.”

The transaction consideration will be paid in cash. In the quarter ended Dec. 31, the portfolio to be acquired had a weighted average yield of approximately 5.5 percent, and consisted 24 percent of fixed rate loans and 76 percent floating rate loans. The acquisition will result in an increase of approximately $3 million in annual operating expenses. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter.

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