Imperial Credit Industries of Newport Beach, Calif., one of the nation's largest independent mortgage companies, is diversifying into business lending. The company announced it had reached an agreement to acquire Coastfed Business Credit Corp., Los Angeles, from Coast Federal Bank, a unit of Coast Savings Financial Inc.

Terms were not disclosed.

Coastfed provides lines of credit to finance accounts receivable for California businesses. The company has about $300 million in committed lines.

The acquired company will operate as a division of Southern Pacific Thrift and Loan Association, a unit of Imperial. Jack Baruch, chief executive of Coastfed, and Scott Sampson, president, will continue in those posts.

"This acquisition will add a new dimension to the lending activities of Imperial Credit Industries, further diversifying the revenue and income generated by the consolidated entity," said H. Wayne Snavely, chairman and chief executive of Imperial.

Earlier this year, Imperial cut its mortgage staff by about 40% but said it was adding divisions for subprime and multifamily mortgage lending.

Ray Martin, chairman and chief executive of Coast, said: "While CBCC has been a very successful subsidiary, this transaction will further sharpen Coast's focus on its retail banking franchise."

Coast's thrift, Coast Federal Bank, is one of the 10 largest in California and in the top 20 nationwide.

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