TORONTO ― After months of speculation, it was confirmed late last week that the Canadian Western Bank has acquired GE Capital’s Canadian Franchise Financing business. According to Ed Khediguian, senior vice-president of Franchise Finance GE Canadian Franchise Financing, “CWB is committed to supporting the future growth of the franchise finance business after the transaction closing date, expected in the second quarter of calendar 2016.”
With the acquisition, the business will be operated as an extension of CWB’s commercial banking focus, with the same dedicated team of experts currently employed by GE, “leveraging the average tenure of 10 years in place,” says Khediguian. It will also maintain a distinct industry focus and brand, likely under a new banner of CWB Franchise Finance. Khediguian says “CWB is committed to maintain existing customer relationships and build new relationships in hotel and restaurant franchise financing across Canada.
“We expect CWB’s ownership to increase the service options we can provide to our customers in the future, including additional financing options and comprehensive commercial banking services,” says Khediguian. The group is committed to focusing on strong relationships, specific industry knowledge, exceptional customer service and responsiveness, all of “which are well aligned with our existing commitment,” notes Khediguian. It’s expected that “CWB hopes to retain all key employees of the commercial, risk and operations functions of our business.”
As part of the transaction, CWB is interested in building across the two sectors (foodservice and hotel).
The acquisition means the company will be in the hands of Canadian ownership with Canadian market and industry focus. “CWB is a smaller bank with a strong entrepreneurial and specialized culture,” says Khediguian.