(June 1, 2011, Weil News)
Weil, Gotshal & Manges is counsel to private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. (THL) in its investment of approximately $180 million in First BanCorp, a publicly owned Puerto Rico-based financial holding company with principal operations in commercial and corporate banking, mortgage banking, and consumer retail banking. The investment will occur as part of a proposed capital raise by the bank, instituted after regulators asked it to improve its capital ratios.
THL will purchase First BanCorp shares for $3.50 per share. Upon completion of the capital raise and the conversion into common stock of approximately $425 million of Series G Mandatorily Convertible Preferred Stock, held by the United States Department of the Treasury, the THL investment would represent approximately 24.9% of First BanCorp’s ownership.
The transaction is contigent upon First BanCorp raising at least $500 million, but not more than $550 million, through the sale of common stock, inclusive of the THL investment, as well as customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.
The transaction represents Weil’s second major banking industry assignment for Thomas H. Lee Partners in the past year. In August 2010, Weil served as counsel to THL in connection with its $171 million equity investment in Sterling Financial Corporation
, the largest US bank headquartered in the Pacific Northwest.
The Weil team was led by partners James Westra and Marilyn French and included partners Jared Rusman and Amy Rubin and associates Stephen Vander Stoep, Kyle Junik, Vipul Kumar, Randell Gartin, and Gregory Burns.