Sterling in N.Y. continues to reshape its loan book with acquisitions

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Sterling Bancorp in Montebello, N.Y., has agreed to buy a portfolio of commercial loans from Santander Bank in Wilmington, Del.

The $30.2 billion-asset Sterling said in a press release Monday that the deal, which is expected to close this quarter, includes middle-market commercial equipment finance loans and leases. Sterling did not disclose the price it will pay for the loans.

The deal includes $843 million of primarily fixed-rate loans and leases with a weighted average tax-equivalent yield of about 4.3%.

The acquisition would augment Sterling's organic origination volumes "and accelerate our strategy of repositioning our balance sheet and loan portfolio to a more diversified commercial mix," Sterling President and CEO Jack Kopnisky said in the release.

The portfolio will be integrated into Sterling’s national equipment finance platform. The bank will have $2 billion in equipment finance loans when the deal closes.

Sterling has spent recent years changing the composition of its loan book to become more of a commercial bank.

Sterling agreed earlier this year to buy two commercial lending businesses from Woodforest National Bank in The Woodlands, Texas. In April 2018, the company bought Advantage Funding Management, a Lake Success, N.Y., equipment finance lender, and a $457 million-asset portfolio, from Australia's Macquarie Bank.

Sterling also agreed late last year to sell $1.6 billion in fixed-rate mortgages through a deal with a third party.

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