Southwest Bank of Texas, Houston, announced Wednesday that it had bought First Republic Capital Corp. and City Financial Services, two Houston commercial factoring companies. Terms of the deal were not released.

First Republic and City Financial pay cash for companies' accounts receivable invoices and then collect the outstanding funds. The deal would let Southwest fund $200 million per year of accounts receivable. Nolan Bedford, vice chairman of $1.8 billion-asset Southwest Bank, said it bought the factoring companies so it could offer alternatives to conventional financing.

"Many young and rapidly growing companies are held back for lack of working capital," he said in a statement, "and by factoring their accounts receivable such companies can gain immediate access to funds."

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