Simmons First Acquires Fourth Bank In Last Year

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 214 views 

Fresh off three major acquisitions in less than a year, Pine Bluff-based Simmons First National Corp. announced today another big buyout.

Simmons First said it has entered into a definitive agreement and plan of merger with Liberty Bancshares, Inc., headquartered in Springfield, Missouri, including its wholly-owned bank subsidiary Liberty Bank.

According to the terms of the agreement, Simmons First will acquire all of the outstanding common stock of Liberty in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $206.9 million.

“We are proud to welcome the associates of Liberty Bank to the Simmons family,” said Simmons First CEO George Makris. “Together, we expect to continue the exceptional growth and quality customer service for which Liberty Bank is known.”

Highlights of the Liberty deal include:

  • Assets – $1.1 billion
  • Loans – $811 million
  • Deposits – $885 million
  • Total Equity – $101.5 million

Liberty is the 10th largest bank in Missouri in rankings by deposits. It has 23 financial centers, primarily in southwest Missouri.

“We are extremely excited about becoming a member of the Simmons family of banks. We view this strategic merger as a win, win, win situation. Our customers will benefit from the additional products and services that Simmons will bring to our market; our associates will continue to operate in a banking environment that is focused on relationship banking; and our shareholders will gain liquidity with Simmons’ stock. This will make for a very smooth transition as we merge our two operations next spring,” said Liberty Chairman and CEO, Gary Metzger.

Completion of the transaction is expected in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Last September, Simmons First acquired Little Rock-based Metropolitan National Bank in a $53.6 million buyout.  That deal was followed by the March 2014 acquisition of Delta Trust & Bank of Little Rock for $66 million.  Earlier this May, Simmons First announced it would acquire Community First Bancshares of Tennessee for $243.5 million.

Talk Business will update this story later today.