Popular Completes Acquisition of Wells Fargo’s Auto Finance Business in Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico--()--Popular, Inc. (“Popular”) (NASDAQ: BPOP) announced that Popular Auto, LLC (“Popular Auto”), Banco Popular de Puerto Rico’s auto finance subsidiary, completed today the acquisition of certain assets and the assumption of certain liabilities related to Wells Fargo & Company’s (“Wells Fargo”) (NYSE: WFC) auto finance business in Puerto Rico (“Reliable”).

Popular Auto acquired approximately $1.6 billion in retail auto loans and $360 million in primarily auto-related commercial loans. Reliable will continue operating as a Division of Popular Auto in parallel with Popular Auto’s existing operations for a period of time after closing to provide continuity of service to Reliable customers while allowing Popular to assess best practices before completing the integration of the two operations. Substantially all Reliable employees have received and accepted offers of employment from Popular Auto.

Wells Fargo retained approximately $385 million in retail auto loans as part of the transaction and has entered into a loan servicing agreement with Popular Auto with respect to such loans.

“We are pleased to welcome Reliable’s customers, and we have put in place a plan to ensure that they will continue to receive the quality of service and customer experience to which they are accustomed,” said Ignacio Alvarez, CEO of Popular. “We are also pleased to welcome over 400 Reliable employees, who are now part of the Popular family. This transaction reaffirms our commitment to Puerto Rico and our confidence in the future. We are convinced that the union of Reliable and Popular Auto will be of great benefit for both organizations, for the retail auto industry on the island and for our commercial and retail customers.”

Popular expects this transaction, which was funded with available cash, to contribute approximately $36 million of net income for the first 12 months after closing, excluding transaction costs and servicing income.

About Popular, Inc.

Popular, Inc. is the leading financial institution in Puerto Rico, by both assets and deposits, and ranks among the top 50 U.S. bank holding companies by assets. Founded in 1893, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Popular’s principal subsidiary, provides retail, mortgage and commercial banking services in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Popular also offers in Puerto Rico auto and equipment leasing and financing, investment banking, broker-dealer and insurance services through specialized subsidiaries. In the mainland United States, Popular provides retail, mortgage and commercial banking services through its New York-chartered banking subsidiary, Popular Bank, which has branches located in New York, New Jersey and Florida.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including without limitation those about Popular’s business, financial condition, results of operations, plans, objectives, and future performance. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on management’s current expectations and, by their nature, involve risks, uncertainties, estimates and assumptions. Potential factors, some of which are beyond the Corporation’s control, could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include without limitation the effect of competitive and economic factors, and our reaction to those factors, the adequacy of the allowance for loan losses, delinquency trends, market risk and the impact of interest rate changes, capital market conditions, capital adequacy and liquidity, the effect of legal proceedings and new accounting standards on the Corporation’s financial condition and results of operations, the impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria on us, our ability to successfully integrate the auto finance business acquired from Wells Fargo, as well as the unexpected costs, including, without limitation, costs due to exposure to any unrecorded liabilities or issues not identified during the due diligence investigation of the business or that are not subject to indemnification or reimbursement, and risks that the business may suffer as a result of the transaction, including due to adverse effects on relationships with customers, employees and service providers. All statements contained herein that are not clearly historical in nature, are forward-looking, and the words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continues,” “expect,” “estimate,” “intend,” “project” and similar expressions, and future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “might,” “can,” “may” or similar expressions, are generally intended to identify forward-looking statements.

More information on the risks and important factors that could affect the Corporation’s future results and financial condition is included in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017, the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2018 and in our Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2018 to be filed with the SEC. Our filings are available on the Corporation’s website (www.popular.com) and on the Securities and Exchange Commission website (www.sec.gov). The Corporation assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements or information which speak as of their respective dates.

Contacts

Popular, Inc.
Investor Relations:
Brett Scheiner, 212-417-6721
Investor Relations Officer
BScheiner@BPOP.com
or
Media Relations:
Teruca Rullán, 787-281-5170
Mobile: 917-679-3596
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications

Contacts

Popular, Inc.
Investor Relations:
Brett Scheiner, 212-417-6721
Investor Relations Officer
BScheiner@BPOP.com
or
Media Relations:
Teruca Rullán, 787-281-5170
Mobile: 917-679-3596
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications