Thomas H. Lee Partners has agreed to invest about $180 million in First BanCorp (NYSE: FBP) through the purchase of common stock priced at $3.50 apiece. The deal is conditioned upon First BanCorp selling a total of $500 million to $550 million of common stock, including THL's investment. First BanCorp is the bank holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico and plans to use the proceeds from the capital raise partly to strengthen its capital base in order to meet regulatory requirements.
Since the beginning of 2009, 60 PE investors have invested in 74 companies in the Commercial Bank industry, according to the PitchBook Platform. With 9 deals completed so far in 2011, the industry's deal activity this year more closely resembles 2009's than 2010's. 2009 posted a total of 23 completed deals, while 2010 saw about twice as many with 45. Despite closing investments in Commercial Banks less often this year, PE investors have typically been putting more money into the banks per transaction than in 2010. The median deal size this year so far is $177 million, up from last year's $103 million. Of the 60 PE investors recently active in the industry, the most active include Stone Point Capital (10 deals), Patriot Financial Partners (8) and Lightyear Capital (7).