Westlake Grows Assets $1.5B With Acquisition of CULA

Westlake Financial Services has acquired Credit Union Leasing of America, which helps its credit union clients form leasing programs, the lender announced Thursday.  

The deal increases Westlake’s total managed assets to $5.5 billion from $4 billion, according to the release. S&P Global’s presale report of the company’s first securitization of the year pegged their auto portfolio at $3.59 billion, as of January 2017.

The acquisition complements the lender’s existing suite of products, which does not currently include leasing, Don Hankey, chairman of the Hankey Group which owns Westlake, said in the release.

Westlake intends to provide resources and financial stability in order to continue the leasing provider’s growth as CULA’s founder Terry Bowdler transitions to a strategic advisor role.

Westlake tapped Ken Sopp, vice president of Midway Leasing’s fleet division, a Hankey Group subsidiary, to lead as chairman and managing general partner of CULA. John Thomas will remain as chief executive of CULA.

The Los Angeles-based lender also recently hired Bill Jensen, a former Chase Auto Finance executive, out of retirement to develop Westlake’s strategic accounts division, Auto Finance News previously reported. The company also launched e-contracting this year and reported quick dealer adoption.    

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