SmartFinancial to buy equipment finance company

SmartFinancial in Knoxville, Tenn., has agreed to buy Fountain Leasing in Knoxville.

The $3.6 billion-asset SmartFinancial said in a press release Monday that it expects to complete the acquisition within the next week. SmartFinancial did not disclose the price it will pay.

Fountain, founded in 2006, provides construction equipment financing to small and midsize businesses in the Southeast. The company, which has $56 million of net lease investments, has offices in Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Nashville, Tenn.

SmartFinancial said it plans to expand Fountain’s services across Tennessee and into Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. It also plans to offer insurance services to Fountain’s customers and prospects.

SmartFinancial said it will change the acquired company’s name to Fountain Equipment Finance after the deal closes.

“We have an extremely high level of respect for Fountain’s leadership and the company they built,” Billy Carroll, SmartFinancial’s president and CEO, said in the release.

“While Fountain will continue to operate much as it does today, we are excited to introduce the broader array of products and services the SmartBank platform has to offer to Fountain’s clients,” Carroll added. “The opportunity to diversify our business lines and expand these services across our footprint is what attracted us to this opportunity.”

Performance Trust Capital Partners and Alston & Bird advised SmartFinancial. Gentry, Tipton & McLemore advised Fountain.

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