People's United Bank, N.A. announced Thursday that it has entered into an agreement to acquire LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc. Based in Philadelphia, LEAF is one of the largest, independent commercial equipment finance companies in the U.S., with approximately $500 million of annual originations.
"We are pleased to welcome the talented team at LEAF Commercial Capital to People's United Bank," says Jack Barnes, President and Chief Executive Officer. "LEAF is a highly scalable commercial lending platform with attractive risk-adjusted returns and a complementary expansion of our existing specialty finance businesses. At closing, our equipment finance units will have approximately $4 billion of assets and rank as the 16th largest bank-owned equipment finance entity in the country."
Since 2002, LEAF has financed over $5.8 billion for more than 243,000 customers nationwide and provides expertise and equipment finance solutions to a wide variety of vendors and end users. LEAF has nationwide reach with approximately 250 employees and a call center in Orange County, California, as well as a sales and servicing facility in Moberly, Missouri.
"LEAF offers creative lease and loan programs to drive the sales of its vendor partners," says Jeff Tengel, Senior Executive Vice President of Commercial Banking at People's United. "These programs are delivered through a business process automation platform that combines efficiency with an outstanding customer experience."
"We are confident in our ability to maintain and accelerate our growth potential within People's United," says Crit DeMent, Chairman and CEO of LEAF Commercial Capital. "Given the Bank's extensive experience in successfully operating leasing and equipment finance platforms, they are uniquely positioned to be a valuable partner for our clients and employees." DeMent and Miles Herman, President and Chief Operating Officer, will remain with the business.
Under the terms of the agreement, People's United will acquire approximately $730 million of net investment in leases and loans and retain approximately $250 million of securitizations. Remaining LEAF borrowings are expected to be repaid at close and the acquisition will be immediately accretive to People's United earnings. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2017.
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC served as financial advisor and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP served as legal counsel to People's United Bank. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. served as financial advisor and Winston & Strawn LLP served as legal counsel to LEAF Commercial Capital, Inc.