( Wikimedia Commons )

Rabobank will transfer the food and agriculture loan portfolio from its California retail banking operation, Rabobank North America, to St. Louis-based Rabo AgriFinance.

The move comes as part of an agreement to sell the retail, business banking, commercial real estate, mortgage, wealth management and other non-food and agribusiness assets of Rabobank N.A. to Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Mechanics Bank, according to a news release.

“Rabobank is committed to supporting leading food and ag producers around the world. In North America, we have seen rapid growth in our rural banking business. And by combining our California (food and agriculture) portfolio into Rabo AgriFinance, we will be positioned to continue our substantial investments in North America,” Paul Beiboer, CEO of Rabobank North America, said in the release.

Rabo AgriFinance focuses on financing leading U.S. farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses, with 115-year roots to its parent company, Netherlands-based Rabobank Group.

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, Rabobank Group approval and completion of closing conditions. The expected closing date is in the third quarter of 2019.

Rabo AgriFinance has more than 40 offices nationwide and plans to open 10 offices in California. About 170 employees who support food, agriculture and renewable energy at Rabobank N.A. will become employees of Rabo AgriFinance, according to the release.


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