BLAIRSVILLE, GA--(Marketwired - May 08, 2014) - United Community Banks, Inc. (UCBI) ("United") announced today that its subsidiary, United Community Bank, reached an agreement with Columbia, SC-based commercial lender Business Carolina, Inc. ("BCI") to acquire approximately $25 million of loans, $6 million of other assets and employ substantially all BCI employees. The asset purchase transaction, which is expected to close within 60 days and is subject to Small Business Administration ("SBA") and U.S. Department of Agriculture ("USDA") regulatory and state approvals, will allow United to significantly expand its tradition of funding small businesses throughout its existing footprint.
"We have been looking for a partner to help fuel our efforts to become one of the leading small business lenders in the southeast, and this transaction with BCI is a perfect fit," said Lynn Harton, United's President and Chief Operating Officer. "BCI was founded by the State of South Carolina as a vehicle for economic development and has a strong history of growth. We intend to carry on that tradition. United Community Bank is dedicated to small business lending, and we are pleased to continue BCI's goal of putting funds in the hands of businesses and individuals who support our local economies."
After the transaction, the staff will operate as a division of United Community Bank and under its trade name of BCI Lending in Columbia and throughout United's footprint.
"BCI Lending is excited to partner with United Community Bank to continue to protect the interest of small business owners and provide the same flexibility and financing options we have always offered our customers," said Michael Sandusky, President and CEO of BCI. "We will still be the same BCI Lending our customers know and trust. Being under the bank's umbrella simply provides access to the resources of a larger institution that will better serve our customers."
United also announces the recent addition of national SBA veteran Richard Bradshaw as President of Specialized Lending. His role includes the oversight of SBA and USDA lending for United Community Bank. Bradshaw has more than 20 years of experience dedicated to SBA lending and a track record for significantly increasing SBA origination volume for some of the largest lenders in the United States.
"With a growing team of SBA lenders and the new BCI Lending division, United Community Bank has the resources to become one of the top SBA lenders in the region," stated Bradshaw. "In addition to the geographic focus that BCI Lending brings us, we have also recently hired three SBA lending specialists who will oversee lending to specific targeted niches, such as franchise, professionals and manufacturing, both in and outside of our footprint."
- Annemarie Murphy joined as the Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of SBA lending. Annemarie has more than 18 years of experience in SBA lending, including 14 years in professional lending. She previously served as Senior Loan Officer at Live Oak Bank.
- Frank Gallagher joined as the SBA Franchise National Manager. Frank has more than 15 years of experience in SBA lending, with a focus in the franchise lending space. Prior to United, Gallagher served primarily as a Regional Account Manager for CIT and has also held positions in risk management, collections and loan closing with CIT and GE Capital.
- Jeff Roegge joined as the SBA Manufacturing National Manager. Jeff has more than 18 years of experience in SBA lending, including five in manufacturing lending. He most recently served as Senior Vice President, Regional Director for Cornerstone Bank, where he grew the footprint into the South and Midwest. He was previously Senior Vice President at Advantage Capital Partners.
"We are pleased to welcome these three specialists to our SBA lending team," Bradshaw added. "They represent the best in their respective industries. We are proud to bring their expertise to small business owners both inside and outside of United Community Bank's markets. Together with BCI Lending, we are building an outstanding team."
About Business Carolina, Inc.
Business Carolina, Inc. is a non-bank lender that offers commercial loans of $50,000 to $5 million to small businesses throughout Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The company specializes in Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) loans. The loans help fund small businesses with everything from acquiring land and renovating facilities to purchasing equipment and refinancing debt as well as funding for startup companies.
About United Community Banks, Inc.
United Community Banks, Inc. is a bank holding company based in Blairsville, Georgia, with $7.4 billion in assets. The company's banking subsidiary, United Community Bank, is one of the Southeast region's largest full-service banks, operating 102 offices in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. The bank specializes in providing personalized community banking services to individuals, small businesses and corporations. Services include a full range of consumer and commercial banking services, including mortgage, advisory and treasury management products. United Community Bank is consistently recognized for its outstanding customer service by national survey organizations. Additional information about the company and the bank's full line of products and services can be found at www.ucbi.com.