SOURCE: Sabal Financial Group

May 06, 2013 10:59 ET

Sabal Financial Group Announces Participation in the Acquisition of $75 Million Real Estate and Land Loan Portfolio From First Bank of North Carolina

NEWPORT BEACH, CA--(Marketwired - May 6, 2013) - Sabal Financial Group, L.P., a diversified financial services firm, announced its participation in the acquisition by its client of a real estate and land loan portfolio valued at $75 million in unpaid principal balance. Sold by First Bank in Troy, North Carolina, the loan portfolio consists of both performing and non-performing residential development and land based assets.

"This portfolio is indicative of the type of assets that we strive to help banks offload and bring under management for our clients," said R. Patterson ("Pat") Jackson, chief executive officer of Sabal Financial Group. "Our team of real estate experts is able to apply a patient approach to work out each asset's individual real estate business plan, while giving the bank the opportunity to get back to the business of banking."

The acquired portfolio includes 290 performing and non-performing assets located across the Southeastern United States. The majority of the assets represent land and residential development loans. Many of the loans were casualties of the region's recent and prolific real estate downturn, with a cross section of prime assets along coastal regions.

"This was an effective trade for our institution with Sabal helping to bring transparency, certainty of close and a fair price for the assets," said Richard Moore, chief executive officer of First Bank. "In handing these assets over to real estate workout experts, we have improved our balance sheet and enabled our staff to focus on our core banking business."

This acquisition follows a flurry of activity for Sabal Financial Group, who during the fourth quarter of 2012 brought an additional $1 billion in real estate assets under management. Founded in 2009, the firm now manages a total of nearly $6 billion in assets.

In addition to the firm's continued services in distressed portfolio acquisition and asset management, Sabal assists bankers, investors and advisors in evaluating and measuring risk in credit portfolios through its Bank Credit Advisory Practice (BCAP). Sabal has completed more than 120 bank credit portfolio assessments since 2010 and has separately evaluated more than 250 loan portfolios for market pricing. The core line of Sabal's BCAP expertise assists community banks in loan sale planning, recapitalization, merger and acquisition (M&A) decisions and modeling to best prepare financial institutions for the projected industry-wide influx in M&A activity expected to occur over the next few years.

"We are able to assist banks as both an objective third party advisor and as a buyer of problem assets facilitating improve capital ratios," added Jackson.

About Sabal Financial Group

Sabal Financial Group, L.P. is an international diversified financial services firm specializing in real estate, banking and lending. The firm's flagship business has established a strong foothold in the distressed debt arena, bringing nearly $6 billion in real estate and land assets under management since the firm's inception in 2009. Sabal operates a number of complementary businesses including: Sabal Commercial Lending, a non-regulated debt provider offering acquisition, development and construction loans to established residential builders and commercial bridge loans to reputable real estate investors and owners; Sabal Commercial Advisors, a national transaction support services provider to CMBS investors and originators; the Sabal Bank Credit Advisory Practice, an advisor and M&A specialist serving commercial and investment banks with unbiased third-party credit portfolio risk and capital performance assessments; and Sabal Fund Surveillance and Analytics, a provider of expert oversight, reporting and disbursement controls on behalf of equity providers in real estate and non-real estate joint ventures, and controlled and non-controlled investment platforms.

A privately held company, Sabal Financial Group is headquartered in Newport Beach, CA. Visit the company online at www.sabalfin.com.

About First Bank

First Bank is the bank subsidiary of First Bancorp, a bank holding company headquartered in Troy, North Carolina with total assets of approximately $3.2 billion. First Bank is a community bank that operates 97 branches, with 81 branches operating in North Carolina, 9 branches in South Carolina (Cheraw, Dillon, Florence, Latta, Jefferson, and Little River), and 7 branches in Virginia (Abingdon, Christiansburg, Dublin, Fort Chiswell, Radford, Salem and Wytheville), where First Bank does business as First Bank of Virginia. First Bank also has loan production offices in Greenville, North Carolina and Blacksburg, Virginia. First Bancorp's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol "FBNC."

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