Southwest Bancorp Inc. in Stillwater, Okla., has sold off roughly $300 million of problem loans in a move its chief executive said is a major step toward achieving its goal of sustained profitability.

Roughly $170 million of the loans are nonperforming and the rest are considered problem loans, the $2.6 billion-asset company said in announcing the bulk sale late Wednesday. Southwest, a two-bank holding company, said the sale to SW Loan Portfolio Holdings LP, will produce a pre-tax loss of $101 million, which it will record in the fourth quarter.

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