Home BancShares, Inc., parent company of Centennial Bank, said it has received approval from the Federal Reserve Board and the Arkansas State Bank Board to move forward on its merger with Jonesboro-based Liberty Bancshares. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also received the appropriate registration statement to allow the deal to progress.

In late June, Conway-based Home Bancshares triggered the summer of banking headlines with its $280 million acquisition of Jonesboro-based Liberty Bancshares.

The mega-deal, brokered by long-time friends and banking icons Johnny Allison and Wallace Fowler, creates a statewide financial institution with a footprint of 92 branches in state and $7.1 billion in assets overall. The buyout is the largest in-state banking transaction in the history of Arkansas, according to officials and makes publicly-traded Home Bancshares (HOMB), the second largest bank holding company headquartered in Arkansas.

All told there will be 151 banking locations in Arkansas, Alabama and Florida. The combined banks will have $5.6 billion deposits, $4.5 billion in loans, and employ nearly 1,500 workers. Geographically, the bank will cover huge swaths of central, northeast, and northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

The two banks’ boards met on Friday, August 30 to approve additional steps for the transaction to proceed since both boards had previously given their approvals for merger, the company said.

The record date is set for September 26 for shareholders to be eligible to vote.

“Effectiveness of the registration statement and the approvals by the Federal Reserve and the Arkansas State Bank Board permits us to move ahead with the merger in a timely manner,” said Allison. “Integration planning teams from both banks are making very good progress and we look forward to delivering the benefits of this merger to our shareholders, customers, and communities.”

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