CIT, OneWest to create lending giant

New York-based CIT Bank, which is led by former Merrill Lynch and NYSE Euronext executive John Thain, will merge with Los Angeles-based OneWest to create a US lending powerhouse.

It’s a marriage of two lenders from across the coasts.

New York-based CIT Group, a major commercial lender and leaser, is poised to acquire Los Angeles-based OneWest Bank for $3.4 billion in cash and stock, it said in a statement on Wednesday. 

When the transaction closes, CIT Bank, CIT’s banking subsidiary, will merge with OneWest Bank under the 'CIT Bank' name to create a group with assets of $67 billion and deposits of $28 billion. Combined revenue is also forecast to be $870 million.

CIT, which is led by chief executive John Thain of former Merrill Lynch and NYSE Euronext fame, is a financial holding company with about $35 billion in assets. It provides financing, leasing and advisory services to its clients and their customers 30 industries. CIT maintains leadership positions in middle market lending, factoring, retail and equipment finance, as well as aerospace, equipment and rail leasing.

OneWest Bank is a privately owned regional bank formed in 2009 that operates 73 retail branches in Southern California, with approximately $23 billion in assets, including commercial and residential mortgage loans, and $15 billion in deposits.

Thain will continue to lead CIT Group. After the close of the transaction, Steven Mnuchin, chairman of IMB Holdco, the parent company of OneWest, will join CIT Group as a vice chairman and will also become a member of the board of directors. Alan Frank, an independent director from OneWest Bank will join the CIT board, which will go from 13 to 15 members.

Further information about the merger can be found in presentation issued by CIT today.