Westlake Financial Services now possesses a significantly larger investment footprint, as on Thursday the company announced the acquisition of Credit Union Leasing of America (CULA), headquartered in San Diego.
The company highlighted the purchase of CULA raised Westlake’s total managed assets from $4.0 billion to $5.5 billion.
Founded by Terry Bowdler nearly 30 years ago, officials highlighted CULA is a respected automobile lessor in the credit union market. Westlake’s investment will support the continued growth of CULA by providing additional resources and financial stability.
“Along with its subsidiaries, Westlake Financial offers indirect financing, dealer floorplan financing, direct-to-consumer lending and insurance products. CULA‘s lease model complements Westlake’s offerings,” said Don Hankey, chairman of Westlake Financial Services. “In addition, CULA’s current affiliations strengthen our growing relationships within the credit union industry.”
Westlake Financial appointed Ken Sopp — who was vice president of Midway Leasing, a Hankey Group subsidiary — as chairman and managing general partner of CULA. The company also noted John Thomas will remain CEO of CULA, and Bowdler will transition to a strategic advisor role.
Officials added Credit Union Leasing of America will remain headquartered in San Diego.
“Our credit union clients, my talented team and our extended family of service providers have been my life for the past 29 years,” Bowdler said.
“As I transition to an advisory role for CULA, I am confident that the company is in great hands with Westlake Financial,” he continued. “The leadership team at Westlake has a deep comprehension of auto finance, a strong balance sheet and an entrepreneurial spirit that will enable CULA to autonomously continue growth for years to come.”
Westlake Financial Services is a member of The Hankey Group. Established by Hankey more than 45 years ago, The Hankey Group is headquartered in Los Angeles and comprised of seven operating companies with 2,500 employees specializing in automotive finance, insurance, auto rental, real estate and technology.
As of the first quarter, The Hankey Group’s total assets are $8.5 billion.
Westlake Financial Services was represented in the transaction by lead corporate counsel Richard Hong along with his team of the Los Angeles-based law firm of Greenberg Glusker. Credit Union Leasing of America was represented by Christian Salaman and Jason Stirling, partners with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, headquartered in New York.