RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. — White River Capital Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Coastal Credit were acquired by an affiliate of Parthenon Capital Partners, a Boston- and San Francisco-based private equity firm. The definitive merger agreement was signed last week.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, an affiliate of Parthenon will acquire all of the outstanding shares of White River common stock in an all-cash transaction for an aggregate deal value of approximately $79.5 million, or $21.93 for each share of White River common stock, subject to certain adjustments as more fully described in the agreement.

“Bill McKnight has done an incredible job building Coastal Credit into one of the leading subprime auto finance companies today,” said White River’s Chairman and CEO John M. Eggemeyer. “We are pleased that we have been able to enter into an agreement that is good for our shareholders, while at the same time being positive for our employees and customers.”

Brian P. Golson, managing partner at Parthenon, said the partnership comes after 10 years in the industry and three years of searching for the right fit for a subprime auto finance sector. “We’re thrilled to partner with Bill McKnight and the Coastal Credit executive team to aggressively grow the company. Coastal is poised to build upon its leadership position in the auto finance marketplace.”