Home BancShares acquires finance company specializing in high-end boat loans

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 255 views 

Conway-based Home BancShares has bought Shore Premier Finance in a cash and stock deal valued at over $400 million. SPF provides financing for high-end sail and power boats, and has seen its loan portfolio grow from $60 million in 2014 to $353 million in the first quarter of 2018.

Home BancShares, the parent company of Centennial Bank, paid $374.5 million and provided 1.25 million shares of common stock to acquire SPF from Richmond, Va.-based Union Bank & Trust. Based on Monday’s opening share price of Home BancShares (NASDAQ: HOMB), the shares exchanged in the deal had a value of $28.125 million.

The finance company works directly with consumers to finance United States Coast Guard registered sail and power boats. The company also provides lines of credit to high-end boat dealers, according to the Home BancShares statement. When the deal closed on June 30, SPF had $383.4 million in loans.

Shore Premier Finance will be a new division with Centennial Bank. The Home BancShares information said the deal would be accretive immediately to earnings per share. Bank officials also said the deal expands the bank’s line of “specialty finance options,” and is a good fit with Centennial’s 16 bank locations in southeast Florida.

“We’re always looking at acquisition opportunities to provide the strongest risk adjusted return for our investors,” John Allison, board chairman of Home BancShares, said in a statement. “The Shore Premier Finance team has built a solid foundation in the marine finance space and we look forward to providing them the opportunity and resources to further develop that brand.”

Centennial plans to open in July 2018 a new loan production office in Chesapeake, Va.

“This marine loan portfolio provides both geographic and collateral-type diversification for the Company,” said Tracy French, CEO of Centennial. “We envision this being the foundation of a meaningful presence in the marine financing market for Home.”

Home BancShares opened Monday at $22.50 after closing Friday at $22.56. During the past 52 weeks the share price has ranged between $25.90 and $20.82. The bank holding company, whose assets are now valued at $14.7 billion, is set to post second quarter earnings on July 19.

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