Home BancShares in Ark. buys marine lender for $400 million

Register now

Home BancShares in Conway, Ark., has created a marine finance division after buying a business from Union Bankshares in Richmond, Va.

The $14.3 billion-asset Home, the parent of Centennial Bank, said in a press release Monday that it bought Shore Premier Finance from the $13.1 billion-asset Union. Home paid about $403 million in cash and stock for Shore, based on Home’s closing stock price on Friday.

Shore provides direct consumer financing to Coast Guard registered high-end sail and power boats. The company, which also offers inventory floor-plan lines of credit to marine dealers, has $383.4 million in loans. It originated $140 million in consumer loans last year.

“We’re always looking at acquisition opportunities to provide the strongest risk adjusted return for our investors,” Johnny Allison, Home’s chairman, said in the release. “The Shore Premier Finance team has built a solid foundation in the marine finance space and we look forward to providing them the opportunity and resources to further develop that brand.”

Home said it plans to establish a loan production office in Chesapeake, Va., that is expected to open this month.

Union had inherited the business from its acquisition of Xenith Bank.

The sale “better enables Union to focus on our core businesses and execute our strategic priorities,” John Asbury, Union’s president and CEO, said in the release. “Our teammates built a solid reputation in this specialty lending category … and will find a welcoming home at Centennial Bank.”

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.