The Bank Slate


Business First in La. to buy SBA loan manager

Business First Bancshares in Baton Rouge, La., has agreed to buy Waterstone LSP, a company that helps small banks and business owners implement and manage Small Business Administration’s (SBA) loan programs.


The $6.6 billion-asset Business First did not disclose the price it will pay for the Katy, Texas, company.


“We have worked closely for a number of years with Waterstone and have been impressed with their deep understanding of both small businesses and the community banks that serve them,” Jude Melville, Business First’s president and CEO, said in the release.


“With the integration of Waterstone, we look forward to more seamlessly providing SBA-focused alternatives to our core bank clients while also equipping our community bank partners around the country to more comprehensively serve their clients,” he added.


Waterstone will operate as a unit of b1BANK.


Alston & Bird advised Business First, while Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes advised Waterstone.

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