BARNETT BANKS AGREES TO ACQUIRE BANCPLUS FINANCIAL
BancPLUS, based in San Antonio, Tex., is a full-service mortgage banking company that originates, acquires, markets and services first mortgage loans secured by residential properties in all 50 states. Through its 54 retail and 9 wholesale offices in 23 states, the company originated $1.5 billion in loans during 1994. About 80% of originations were through the retail network.
"This acquisition will enhance fee income, increase productivity and diversify Barnett geographically," said Charles E. Rice, Barnett chairman and chief executive officer. "It makes us a major national mortgage banking company with a combined servicing portfolio that further enhances our strong economies of scale. BancPLUS also provides Barnett with a national retail mortgage origination channel, complementing originations through Barnett Bank offices in Florida and Georgia and the wholesale channel we established last year with the purchase of Loan America Financial Corporation."
In total, Barnett, Loan America and BancPLUS originated almost $6 billion in residential mortgages in 1994, which would have ranked approximately 15th among all mortgage originators. BancPLUS originates a high level of government-guaranteed loans, enhancing Barnett's role in this area.
The acquisition will also substantially build Barnett's servicing portfolio, which produces a steady stream of fee income. The BancPLUS servicing portfolio was in excess of $14 billion at year end, and the company has significant capacity for future growth.
Adding BancPLUS, Barnett's total residential mortgage servicing portfolio increases to more than $32 billion. The combined servicing portfolios of Barnett, Loan America and BancPLUS will be approximately 17th largest in the United States based on the most recently available data.
Barnett's cost of servicing a loan is currently well under its peer group average, and, because of the additional scale afforded by this acquisition, the company's cost to service a loan will decline further.
BancPLUS has state-of-the-art mortgage banking technology that facilitates efficient integration from origination to servicing. This system is a significant improvement over Barnett's existing system and will result in substantial cost savings.
The transaction, which requires Federal Reserve approval, is expected to close in the first half of this year.
With $41 billion in assets, Barnett Banks, Inc. is the leading financial institution in Florida and ranked in the top 25 in the United States. The company provides a complete line of banking products and related financial services to consumers and businesses. Barnett stock (BBI) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
/CONTACT: (Media) Bob Stickler, 904-791-5437, or home, 904-396-9284, or (Analysts) Greg Delaney, 904-791-7627, or home, 904-268-5718, both of Barnett Banks/
CO: Barnett Banks, Inc.; BancPLUS Financial Corporation ST: Florida, Texas IN: FIN SU: TNM
RK-AW -- FL003 -- 3100 01/19/95 08:50 EST