The private equity firm Milestone Partners has sold Mariner Finance, a former division of Baltimore's First Mariner Bancorp (FMAR).

The Radnor, Pa.-based Milestone said it received more than five times the $10.5 million it paid for Mariner Finance in 2009, though it did not disclose the price or the identity of the buyer.

Mariner Finance makes consumer loans through 57 branches in seven states. First Mariner sold the unit to Milestone in October 2009, while under pressure from regulators to improve its capital ratios.

"We are pleased to deliver a significant realization for our investors," said Milestone principal Adam Curtin. "Mariner experienced several years of rapid expansion under our ownership and we expect the Company will continue that trajectory."

The investment banks Stephens, Inc., and Janney Montgomery Scott provided financial advice to Milestone on the sale; Pepper Hamilton served as legal counsel.

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