Wintrust to Buy $581MM in Loans from GE Capital Franchise Finance

In another divestiture from its franchise finance business, GE Capital will sell off approximately $581 million in performing loans and related relationships to Wintrust Financial. The loans are to franchise operators (primarily quick service restaurant concepts) in the Midwest and in the Western portion of the U.S.

Wintrust Franchise Finance has been in existence for 15 years and currently serves more than 100 clients nationwide.

“This transaction represents the continued strategic expansion of our franchise finance business,” said Edward J. Wehmer, president and CEO of Wintrust. “It is a business we know well and the loans acquired are to firms that, in most cases, are well known to our experienced staff.  We look forward to continuing to serve the franchise finance market.”

Closing of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to occur in Q3/16.  The dollar amount of loans acquired may increase or decrease based on activity between the announcement and the closing.  The transaction is expected to be slightly accretive to Wintrust’s 2016 earnings per share and accretive in 2017.

GE Capital sold off additional pieces of its franchise finance business, as First Horizon purchased loans outstanding of approximately $637 million in the Southwest and Southeast, while Sterling National Bank acquired $190 million of performing restaurant franchise financing loans.

Barclays and Moelis & Company served as financial advisors to GE. Hogan Lovells served as transaction counsel to GE.

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