Seeking to diversify following its public offering in May, EverBank Financial (EVER) in Jacksonville, Fla., announced Monday that it is buying a commercial lending unit from GE Capital for $2.5 billion in cash.
The unit, Business Property Lending, originates and services commercial real estate loans for properties owned or leased by small and midsize businesses nationwide. The deal includes $2.4 billion of performing loans and servicing rights for $3.1 billion of loans securitized by GE Capital.
Robert Clements, the chairman and chief executive at the $13.8 billion-asset EverBank, said that the acquisition would accelerate the bank's plan to further diversify its balance sheet, which is made up largely of one-to-four family mortgages. The company, which raised $171 million in a public offering in May, also recently launched a wealth management unit as part of broad effort to generate more fee income.
Business Property Lending has 14 offices across the U.S., including three in California, two in Connecticut and two in Florida. EverBank intends to retain the lender's management team and its employees.
"Today's announcement represents a compelling strategic expansion into business property lending in key metropolitan areas where EverBank currently has significant lending, leasing and deposit customers," Clements said in a news release. "We believe this fully integrated, high-quality franchise will accelerate EverBank's strategic growth plans and will further enhance and diversify our robust, nationwide asset generation capabilities."
For GE Capital, the planned sale is consistent with its strategy of reducing the size of its real estate portfolio. The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter.