GE Consumer Finance acquires stake in BAC International Bank

Source: GE Consumer Finance

GE Consumer Finance, one of the largest consumer lending businesses in North America, today announced that it would acquire a 49.99 percent stake in BAC International Bank Inc. (BAC), a privately held retail bank and credit card issuer based in Panama City, Panama.

The transaction, which requires regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the next few months. The terms were not disclosed.

BAC is one of the largest banks in Central America and has been operating in the region for over 50 years. BAC has 178 branches in countries including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. The new partnership between GE Consumer Finance and BAC will enable the two companies to deliver enhanced consumer credit products to the growing Central American financial services market.

"We believe the combination of GE Consumer Finance's broad global experience and BAC's established position in Central America will allow us to accelerate growth opportunities for both of us in this strategically important emerging market," said Mark W. Begor, president and CEO, GE Consumer Finance Americas. "This new partnership will help us expand our business in Central America, and we're excited to be able to work with a team as successful and respected as BAC."

Founded in 1952, BAC has about $1.9 billion in deposits; $1.7 billion in consumer credit card loans, mortgages, and auto, small business, corporate and commercial loans; and has over 8,000 employees. BAC's Credomatic subsidiary is a leading debit and credit card issuer in the region.

"By combining with one of the world leading financial services companies, and one of the world's most respected brands, we believe we can expand our offerings of products and services to consumers across Central America," said BAC Chairman Carlos Pellas.

Ernesto Castegnaro, BAC president and CEO, added, "We look forward to immediately starting work with GE Consumer Finance on this exciting new chapter in BAC's growth and development."

"BAC has a strong and respected management team, and they have built a solid financial services business in Central America," said Glen Wakeman, president and CEO for GE Consumer Finance in Latin America. "We're excited about the bank's prospects for future growth. This partnership is a great opportunity to add our global perspective and know-how to the local communities served by BAC."

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