Daily News: February 22, 2012

Wells Fargo to Acquire $9B BNP Paribas Energy Loan Portfolio

Wells Fargo Bank said it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the North American reserve-based and related diversified energy lending business of BNP Paribas. Terms of the all cash transaction were not disclosed.

Headquartered in Houston, the BNP energy business consists of approximately 175 customer relationships, nearly $9.5 billion of loan commitments and approximately $3.9 billion in loans outstanding. Around 90% of the portfolio is U.S.-based, with the remainder primarily located in Canada, a market of growing importance for the Wells Fargo Energy group.

“The acquisition of this established and well-managed business is a unique opportunity for Wells Fargo to continue to grow its industry-leading energy banking business,” said Mike Johnson, head of Wells Fargo’s Corporate Banking Group. “Our combined industry expertise coupled with the breadth and depth of Wells Fargo’s products and services provide an unparalleled platform to help customers achieve greater financial success.”

Upon closing, all BNP Paribas employees that have been part of the energy business being acquired will be given an opportunity to join Wells Fargo.

“We have great respect for Wells Fargo’s energy team and their capabilities and look forward to ensuring a smooth transition while continuing to provide outstanding service to our customers,” said Bart Schouest, head of the North American Oil and Gas lending businesses within Structured Finance for the BNP Paribas.

“The BNP Paribas Energy team is a good cultural fit with the Wells Fargo Energy Group. Both businesses focus on the creation of long-term client relationships and have similar philosophies on lending to the energy space,” added Kyle Hranicky, head of the Houston-based Wells Fargo Energy Group.

The transaction, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2012.