First BanCorp in San Juan, Puerto Rico, has agreed to sell about $200 million in nonperforming loans and other assets to improve credit quality.

The $13 billion-asset company will sell the $199.8 million loan portfolio for $87.6 million in cash, or 43.8% of the unpaid principal balance. The loans carried a book value of about $150 million. The portfolio consists of nonperforming and classified commercial loans, and other real estate owned. First BanCorp did not identify the buyer; the deal is expected to close next month.

First BanCorp will record a pretax loss of $47.2 million as a result of the sale. The transaction will improve First BanCorp's ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets by 72 basis points to 5.02%.

The deal “will contribute to future reductions in our expense base,” Aurelio Alemán-Bermudez, chief executive, said in a Tuesday news release.

First BanCorp last month was released from a 2010 consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

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