Union Bank Sells Boat Finance Division for $400M

Union Bank and Trust, a subsidiary of Union Bankshares Corp., has sold its boat finance division for $400 million, according to a new report.

Called Shore Premier Finance, the marine division helped consumers finance sail and power boats, in addition to supplying lines of credit to high-end boat dealers.

Home BancShares, the Conway, Ark.-based parent company of Centennial Bank, paid $374.5 million in cash for Shore Premier Finance. The company made up the remainder of the transaction with 1.25 million shares of common stock.

Selling the marine finance business will better enable Union to “focus on our core businesses and execute our strategic priorities,” John Asbury, president and chief executive of Union Bankshares Corp., said in a statement.

Shore Premier Finance will become a new division of Centennial Bank, where it will be utilized at the 16 bank locations Centennial has in Southern Florida.

Shore Premier held $383.4 million in total loans, at the time of closing.

The marine market has seen recent activity from powersports OEMs. Polaris Industries officially entered the sector with the acquisition of Boat Holdings, a manufacturer of luxury pontoon, deck, and cruiser boats, in May. Additionally, BRP Inc. acquired fishing boat manufacturer Alumacraft Boat and announced its own Marine Group.

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