Synovus Financial Corp. said it should reap a $70 million profit from selling its merchant services business to Merchant e-Solutions Inc.

The $33 billion-asset Columbus, Ga., banking company sold the unit Wednesday and the gain will be recorded for the first quarter. The company said it should still have future revenue due to a referral agreement with the buyer. The sale will also boost capital by about $70 million, Synovus said.

"This is a positive, strategic transaction and will also provide us with significant capital to further strengthen our reserves and fund future growth opportunities," Richard Anthony, Synovus' chairman and chief executive, said in a press release.

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