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Greenville Business Magazine

UCB To Acquire NLFC

Jan 09, 2018 01:35PM ● By Kathleen Maris

United Community Banks, Inc. and NLFC Holdings Corp. announced a definitive agreement for United to acquire NLFC, including its wholly-owned subsidiary, Navitas Credit Corp. Headquartered in Ponte Vedra, Fla., Navitas is a premier specialty lending company providing equipment finance credit services to small and medium-sized businesses nationwide.

Navitas was founded in 2008 by Gary Shivers, who spent 11 years as co-founder and president of Marlin Business Services prior to founding Navitas. Navitas' senior management team averages more than 25 years of financial services experience with various equipment finance companies. Navitas will operate as a separate subsidiary of United's bank subsidiary, managed by the Navitas senior management team operating under the Navitas brand.

"This transaction is consistent with our commitment to grow our specialty and commercial lending business," said Lynn Harton, president of United and chief executive officer of United Community Bank. "Navitas will be a strong strategic addition to our existing platforms, providing attractive risk-adjusted returns and enabling us to further expand our client offerings. The business will continue to be run by Navitas' talented management team, and our shared relationship-based approach makes this a great fit for our organization."

The transaction value is estimated to total approximately $130 million, with 35 percent of the consideration to be paid in United common stock and 65 percent to be paid in cash. The acquisition is expected to be accretive to United's earnings per share by approximately $0.20 in the first full year of operations. The transaction is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2018.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC acted as financial advisor to United, and Troutman Sanders LLP served as its legal advisor. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. served as Navitas' financial advisor, and Greenberg Traurig LLP served as its legal advisor.