The small-dollar lender First Cash Financial Services (FCFS) has agreed to buy a 12-store pawnshop chain in the Charleston, S.C., area.
The deal, announced Tuesday, would give First Cash 18 South Carolina locations, it said. The Arlington, Texas, company did not disclose the seller or the financial terms of the agreement, which is pending customary closing conditions.
First Cash has added more than 80 locations so far this year, including 19 stores in Texas and eight stores in Mexico. Following the South Carolina acquisition, First Cash would have 901 pawnshops in the U.S. and Mexico.
"The twelve Charleston stores being acquired have well-established locations with significant market share and strong brand awareness in their market," Rick Wessel, First Cash's chief executive, said in the news release. "The Charleston area represents a new market in South Carolina for First Cash and will complement our existing six locations in Greenville, Columbia and Spartanburg."
Banks that offer small-dollar loans have been under increasing regulatory scrutiny over the past year, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other agencies have moved to tighten standards for issuing the payday-type loans. Industry groups have argued that stricter oversight will drive borrowers to less tightly regulated lenders, such as pawnshops.