The previously announced acquisition of online consumer direct lender E-Loan by Puerto Rico-based Popular Inc. is expected to close next week, the companies said on Thursday. Popular, Puerto Rico's largest bank, in August agreed to buy E-Loan for about $300 million in cash, expanding its U.S. lending businesses. The transaction is expected to close Nov. 1. The transaction will expand Popular's reach in the U.S. market and complement its existing nonprime and warehouse-lending businesses. E-Loan originated more than $5 billion in mortgage, home equity and auto loans in 2004. E-Loan previously said it will maintain its brand and become a unit of Popular Financial Holdings, operating in Pleasanton, Calif. Mark Lefanowicz, the CEO and president of E-Loan, will serve as president. Additionally, the company said it will retain most of its employees. *** Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to [email protected] or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133....
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