Ford Financial Fund amasses over $1 bln for third fund

Ford Financial Fund has raised over $1 billion for its third fund. In conjunction with the fund-closing, Mechanics Bank, which is backed by Ford Financial Fund, has acquired Rabobank N.A. for an undisclosed sum. Based in Dallas, Ford Financial Fund invests in community banks.

PRESS RELEASE

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ford Financial Fund today announced the closing of Ford Financial Fund III, L.P., with over $1 billion in commitments. Ford Financial Fund is a private equity fund focused on investments in community banks. It is co-managed by Gerald J. Ford and Carl B. Webb, who are among the nation’s most experienced and successful investors in and operators of a broad range of financial services companies. The General Partner committed $155 million of its own capital across Fund II and Fund III, which are both fully invested in Mechanics Bank. Fund II closed in May 2013.

Fund III closes in conjunction with the acquisition of Rabobank, N.A., by Mechanics Bank. Ford Financial Fund is the majority owner of California-based Mechanics Bank, now with over $17 billion in total assets, a best-in-class deposit franchise and 144 branches. Fund III is Ford Financial Fund’s largest fund to date and includes the return of many highly valued current limited partners as well as a slate of quality first-time investors.

“We are very pleased with the significant interest in Ford Financial Fund III, which attracted an exceptional base of investors,” said Mr. Ford. “It is gratifying to have many existing investors reaffirm their faith in us by participating in Fund III. We also had the opportunity to welcome many new and highly sophisticated investors as well.”

“The successful raise of Fund III in support of a large acquisition during a challenging market environment represents tremendous trust in our ability to effectively invest in unique financial services opportunities,” said Mr. Webb. “We deeply appreciate this participation and fully intend to earn the continued confidence of our limited partners by establishing the new Mechanics Bank as the premier community bank in California.”

About Ford Financial Fund
Ford Financial Fund is a private equity fund with $1.8 billion in commitments that is focused on investments in community banks. Co-Managing Members Gerald J. Ford and Carl B. Webb, along with their team, possess a rare combination of investment skill, deep industry expertise and decades of operational experience. Ford Financial Fund invests in a variety of opportunities, from healthy banks in need of growth equity to troubled companies that need to be recapitalized. The firm has the flexibility to make both control and non-control investments. Unlike most private equity funds, Ford Financial Fund is structured as a bank holding company under applicable banking regulations.