Huntington Bancshares in Columbus, Ohio, moved quickly to buy Macquarie Equipment Finance when it found it the Bloomfield Hills, Mich., business was for sale.

The $66 billion-asset Huntington agreed to buy the $900 million-asset unit of Australia's Macquarie Group for an undisclosed amount. Huntington will assume about $630 million debt to snag a business that generates about $500 million in annual originations. Huntington said it expects to complete the acquisition, which should be accretive to earnings in its first year, by March 31.

Rick Remiker, a Huntington senior executive who oversees equipment finance, said he had admired the finance unit "from afar for several decades." So Huntington jumped at the opportunity to snag the business.

"I was never in a scenario where I was able to get my hands on it," Remiker said in an interview Tuesday. "I was very excited when it came to market."

Huntington plans to rebrand the Macquarie unit. Aside from that, management expects to make few changes. The unit will operate separately from Huntington Equipment Finance under the oversight of its existing management team.

The acquisition adds "a national technology and healthcare platform to help drive our ongoing growth," Stephen Steinour, Huntington's chairman, president and chief executive, said in a press release Tuesday. He added that the acquisition will allow Huntington to offer asset finance to small businesses throughout its six-state banking footprint.

Macquarie Equipment Finance focuses on health care and technology leasing, which it markets nationwide. Its small-business operation is more broad-based, providing credit for "any type of revenue-producing or labor-saving" equipment, Remiker said.

"A small-ticket leasing platform is a need we've been looking to fill for a long time," he added.

The acquisition comes a few months after Huntington bought 24 branches and $750 million in deposits in Michigan from Bank of America. The company is also working through a $100 million Michigan affordable-housing commitment.

Huntington competed with other suitors to buy the unit, though Remiker said his company's commitment to Michigan gave it a leg up over the other bidders. "I think they were very comfortable with the idea of having a Midwestern parent company," he said.

Huntington was advised by Guggenheim Securities and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Macquarie Group was advised by Macquarie Capital, Mayer Brown and KPMG.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.