Santander sells Island Finance loan portfolio
SAN JUAN – Santander Financial Services Inc. has reached a definitive agreement to sell the personal loan and sale finance loan assets of its Island Finance business to funds advised by investment firm J.C. Flowers & Co.
The agreement is expected to close in the next few months, according to Monday’s release. As part of the transaction, an entity controlled by J.C. Flowers will continue to manage the business, which employs more than 600 people in Puerto Rico, and will also assume the leases for its branches.
With approximately $400 million of assets and more than 100,000 active customers, Island Finance has been operating in Puerto Rico for more than 50 years. It has 52 branches that cover 60 percent of the municipalities across the island.
“This strategic decision of the Santander Group to restructure its operations on the island will allow us to place greater emphasis on the commercial banking business,” Fredy Molfino, president and CEO of Santander Puerto Rico, says in the release.
He added that Santander’s commitment to the island is as strong as it was more than 40 years ago when the institution began operations in Puerto Rico, dismissing rumors of a possible exit.
“Santander has managed this business exceptionally well, building Island Finance into a true market leader,” said Thomas Harding, vice president of J.C. Flowers. “Island Finance serves Puerto Ricans with a commitment to responsible and transparent lending, and we are excited to work with its talented management team and branch staff to build on the solid reputation that Santander has fostered and continue to fill this critical financing need in Puerto Rico.”