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E-LOAN Goes Caribbean

Popular Inc. to acquire E-LOAN

August 3, 2005

By MortgageDaily.com staff

A Puerto Rican bank has gained a foothold in the U.S. mortgage market.

Popular Inc. announced today announced it will acquire all the issued and outstanding shares of common stock and common stock equivalents of E-LOAN Inc. for $300 million. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Popular, reportedly a leading financial institution in Puerto Rico, said the merger will further expand its penetration into the U.S. market, complement its existing nonprime and warehouse lending businesses, and significantly enhance its technology platform.

"We are impressed with what E-LOAN has built," commented Popular Chairman and CEO Richard Carrion in the announcement. "They are a great brand in this space and we believe we can add financial strength and new products to further enhance it."

In addition to increasing its financial and capital markets strength, and cross-promotion and integration opportunities, the transaction will benefit "the proliferation of online lending for many years to come," said E-LOAN, which reportedly originated over $5 billion in mortgage, home equity, and auto loans last year.

E-LOAN will retain its brand identity, become a subsidiary of Popular Financial Holdings Inc. and continue operating in Pleasanton, Calif. The online lender's CEO and President Mark Lefanowicz will continue to serve as president, according to the announcement.

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