PacWest Bancorp.’s stock PACW jumped 5% premarket Monday, after the bank announced asset sales that will allow it to focus on its core community banking business. The regional bank said it has entered an agreement to sell a portfolio of 74 real estate construction loans with a principal balance of about $2.6 billion to a unit of Kennedy-Wilson Holdings. “Kennedy Wilson or its designees will also assume all remaining future funding obligations under the acquired loans of approximately $2.7 billion,” PacWest said in a regulatory filing. The bank has also agreed to sell an additional six real estate construction loans to Kennedy Wilson with a principal balance of about $363 million. The sale of the loans is subject to Kennedy Wilson’s satisfactory due diligence. Kennedy Wilson will place $20 million into a third-party escrow account that will be refundable until it waives due diligence. The deal is expected to close in several tranches in the second and third quarters. “There can be no assurance that the transaction will be completed in part or at all,” said the filing. PacWest shares are down 75% in the year to date, after being caught up in the regional-bank stock rout that followed the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March. The S&P 500 SPX has gained 9% in the same time frame.
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