Synovus in Ga. to Buy Specialty Finance Firm

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Synovus Financial in Columbus, Ga., has agreed to buy Entaire Global Cos. in Atlanta.

The $29 billion-asset Synovus said in a press release Thursday that it expects to complete the purchase of Entaire, a private life insurance premium finance lender, in the fourth quarter. Synovus will pay $30 million in cash and stock up front, with additional payments to be made over the next three to five years based on Entaire's earnings.

Entaire, through subsidiaries Global One and Global Financial Distributors, originates, designs, supports, funds and services life insurance premium finance loans. The company lends primarily to small businesses; its loans are collateralized by cash value life insurance policies issued by investment-grade insurers. At June 30, Entaire had $346 million in outstanding loans and $545 million in unfunded loan commitments.

It would be Synovus' first acquisition since it bought a failed bank in 2013.

The deal "aligns well with our strategy for building balance sheet strength and further diversifying our loan portfolio," Kessel Stelling, Synovus' chairman and chief executive, said in the release.

The deal should be immediately accretive to Synovus' earnings per share with 1% dilution to tangible book value that should be earned back within four years. Entaire's key managers have signed long-term employment agreements with Synovus.

Barclays advised Synovus.

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