Sterling to Acquire Woodforest ABL and Equipment Finance Businesses

Sterling Bancorp, through its principal subsidiary, Sterling National Bank, agreed to acquire the asset-based and equipment finance lending businesses of Woodforest National Bank.

As of December 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 portfolio had a weighted average yield of approximately 5.5%, and consisted 24% of fixed rate loans and 76% floating rate 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, Sterling will have a combined $1.1 billion in asset-based loans and $1.4 billion in equipment finance loans.

Jack Kopnisky, Sterling president and CEO, 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 of Corporate Banking at 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 and will result in an increase of approximately $3 million in annual operating expenses. Closing is expected for the first quarter of 2019.

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