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Gulf Coast takes next step in national SBA lending push with acquisition

New Orleans-based Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Co. is pushing to make a national splash as a small-business lender after buying a second specialty lender this year.

Gulf Coast bought Dallas-based Small Business Administration lender American Business Lending Inc. and folded the seller's operations into its existing SBA lending operations: Gulf Coast SBA Lending, which is also headquartered in Dallas. Gulf Coast retained American Business Lending's staff and management.

Earlier this year, it purchased another Dallas-based small-business lender, CapitalSpring SBLC. The company is the top SBA lender in Louisiana and in the top 10 in Texas, and now it wants to ramp up its SBA business line in New York, Florida and on the West Coast, Chairman, President and CEO Guy Williams said in an interview.

The bank also sees opportunities in Nevada and Utah, Williams added.

Houlihan Lokey advised American Business Lending in the transaction.