Little Rock-based Arkansas Business has reported that Home Bancshares Inc. of Conway will announce later today the acquisition of Jonesboro-chartered Liberty Bank of Arkansas.
The merger would create the second-largest bank in Arkansas, behind only Arvest Bank of Fayetteville.
The merger, according to Arkansas Business, is expected to be announced at a news conference at 3 p.m. today at the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce building.
A media advisory distributed by Centennial Bank officials touts a “historic business announcement” will be made at the news conference, with Gov. Mike Beebe expected to attend.
Liberty Bank is a wholly owned subsidiary of Liberty Bancshares, Inc. and has assets in excess of $2.8 billion.
The bank reported net income of $23.3 million during 2012. Wallace Fowler of Jonesboro is chairman, CEO and leading shareholder of Liberty Bancshares.
Home BancShares, a public company (Nasdaq: HOMB) and the holding company for Centennial Bank of Conway, has total assets of more than $4.2 billion.
Centennial reported net income of $65.9 million during 2012. Chairman John Allison and CEO Randy Sims lead home BancShares.
In Northwest Arkansas, Liberty Bank recently opened its new 22,000-SF regional banking center on Joyce Boulevard in Fayetteville.
Liberty Bank has 42 branches throughout the state, a quarter of them in Benton and Washington counties.