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BNP Paribas CIB Sells North American Reserve Based Lending Business

BNP Paribas Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its reserve-based lending business in the United States and Canada to Wells Fargo. This transaction comprises $9.5 billion of total loan commitments, including $3.9 billion in funded balances as of December 31, 2011. All of the 36 people currently working in this business in Houston and Calgary will be offered employment at Wells Fargo.

BNP Paribas remains committed to its strong North American platform and its global Energy and Commodities business. The Group will therefore continue to serve its energy clients in North America. In addition, its well-regarded global energy and commodity finance business outside of North America will not be impacted by this transaction.

The sale forms part of BNP Paribas' global plan to deleverage its balance sheet and reduce its US dollar funding requirements. The transaction will further strengthen BNP Paribas' financial profile and improve its Common Equity Tier 1 ratio by an estimated five basis points.

The premium paid by Wells Fargo and other specific terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.

Everett Schenk, BNP Paribas' CEO of North America: “Though it was a difficult decision, we are pleased to have secured a premium on the sale of the business. BNP Paribas remains fully committed to its robust North American platform and our strong capabilities in Commodity Finance, Project Finance, Commodity Derivatives and Energy and Commodities Investment Banking will allow us to continue to support our client base and remain a major player in the energy and commodity sectors in the US and worldwide."

“Finding a solution which provided security for all of the team members was a major consideration for us throughout the process and we are extremely pleased that Wells Fargo will offer positions to all of our Houston and Calgary staff," said Dan Cozine, Head of Structured Finance Americas.

"The Initial closing of the transaction, which will include transfer of a significant portion of the loan portfolio, will take place in the second quarter of 2012. Any remaining loan transfers will happen as borrower consents are received. BNP Paribas and Wells Fargo are committed to working in a coordinated manner in order to make the transition as timely and efficient as possible for the borrowers.”
BNP Paribas was advised by Lazard and BNP Paribas Corporate Finance on this transaction and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal counsel.

About BNP Paribas
BNP Paribas ( has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees, including more than 150,000 in Europe. It ranks highly in its three core activities: Retail Banking, Investment Solutions and Corporate & Investment Banking. In Europe, the Group has four domestic markets (Belgium, France, Italy and Luxembourg) and BNP Paribas Personal Finance is the leader in consumer lending. BNP Paribas is rolling out its integrated retail banking model across Mediterranean basin countries, in Turkey, in Eastern Europe and a large network in the western part of the United States. In its Corporate & Investment Banking and Investment Solutions activities, BNP Paribas also enjoys top positions in Europe, a strong presence in the Americas and solid and fast-growing businesses in Asia.