Small business lending

Business Carolina sells loans, assets

The Greenville NewsMay 7, 2014 

BCI Lending

Blairsville, Ga.-based United Community Banks Inc. said Monday its banking subsidiary has agreed to acquire approximately $25 million of loans and $6 million of other assets from Columbia-based commercial lender Business Carolina Inc.

Terms weren’t disclosed.

United Community Bank’s acquisition will allow United to significantly expand its small-business lending throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, company officials said.

United said it will employ “substantially all” of Business Carolina’s employees.

“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, based in Greenville.

“BCI was founded by the state of South Carolina as a vehicle for economic development and has a strong history of growth,” Harton said. “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.”

Other assets involved include servicing rights to about $120 million in Small Business Administration loans, Harton said.

The asset-purchase transaction, expected to close within 60 days, is subject to SBA and U.S. Department of Agriculture regulatory and state approvals.

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 four-state footprint, company officials said.

United recently added SBA veteran Richard Bradshaw as president of specialized lending. His role includes oversight of United’s SBA and USDA lending.

Business Carolina is a non-bank lender that offers commercial loans of $50,000 to $5 million to small businesses throughout South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

The company specializes in SBA and USDA loans to help small businesses acquire land, renovate facilities, purchase equipment and refinance debt.

Funding also is provided for startup companies.

United Community Banks, a bank holding company, has $7.4 billion in assets. United Community Bank operates 102 offices in the Southeast.

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