Bank of America and World Omni Financial Corp. put together a deal for the bank to purchase the majority of World Omni's commercial loan portfolio, excluding Southeast Toyota's distributors, franchised dealers and their affiliates.

World Omni assigns to Bank of America lending relationships with about 105 dealerships across 23 dealer groups totaling more than $600 million.

It's tied to World Omni's strategy of narrowing the focus of its commercial lending business to provide financing to SET franchised dealers and their affiliates, paralleling the company's consumer lending business which exclusively serves SET dealers.

“This decision was very difficult and was made following a great deal of thought and consideration,” says Brent Burns, president of World Omni. “We believe that Bank of America is uniquely suited to manage these relationships with the integrity, customer service, industry knowledge and financial resources World Omni has provided these relationships to date.”

Says Floyd Robinson, president of Bank of America's Auto Group, “Bank of America is very excited about the opportunity to develop a relationship with each dealer and continue the tradition of excellent service established by World Omni.”

Bank of America client managers are traveling the country to personally meet their new dealer clients. The goal is to make the transition seamless, says bank spokeswoman Lila Lynch.