Home BancShares Buys $289M in Loans, Plans Office in New York

Home BancShares Buys $289M in Loans, Plans Office in New York
(Home BancShares)

Home BancShares Inc. of Conway, the parent company of Centennial Bank, said Wednesday that it has purchased $289 million in national commercial real estate loans from J.C. Flowers & Co. LLC.

The publicly traded company said the loans will be housed in a new part of Centennial called the Centennial Commercial Finance Group.

The company also plans to start a new loan production office in New York City, which could open around April 23.

Once that happens, Centennial CFG said it will build out a national lending platform focusing on commercial real estate as well as commercial and industrial loans.

The pool of loans originated within the former Doral Property Finance portfolio, which was part of Doral Bank of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The bank failed in February, and Home Bancshares acquired the bank's assets and deposits in the Florida Panhandle as part of a deal assisted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Home BancShares said it hired two former Doral executives. Christopher Poulton will be president of Centennial CFG. The company said Poulton intends to reconstruct a group of lenders similar to the group he previously managed.

Centennial CFG also hired former Doral Property Finance Senior Managing Director Nicholas Santoro. He will hold the same position at Centennial CFG.

"I am excited about joining Centennial with its strong capital position which can support our operation," Poulton said in a news release. "Considering New York’s business climate combined with our group of experienced lenders, we plan to present Centennial with a tremendous opportunity for loan growth."