Parkway Banshares Inc., the holding company of Rogers-based lender Parkway Bank, will be acquired later this year by Citizens Bancshares of Batesville Inc., headquartered in the northeast Arkansas town of Batesville, and the holding company for The Citizens Bank.
The two companies announced the purchase Wednesday in a news release from Citizens Bank president and CEO Phil Baldwin and Parkway Bank president and CEO Bob Taylor.
The deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, and is expected to close by the end of the year.
Once complete, the new banking company will have assets of nearly $700 million.
“Parkway Bank is an important strategic relationship for us and the merger of Parkway Bank and Citizens Bank is consistent with the strategic growth strategy approved by the Citizens Bank board of directors in 2014,” Baldwin said in a statement. “Parkway Bank’s headquarters in Rogers provides a strong addition to our current branch in Fayetteville and improves our ability to serve our Northwest Arkansas customers. The Monticello, Portland and Crossett branches allow us to expand into important communities in south Arkansas.”
Baldwin said Taylor, chairman of the Arkansas Bankers Association, has agreed to stay on as regional CEO through the approval process, then transition to a role of executive credit officer for Citizens Bank.
“Bob and I have known and worked together professionally for years,” Baldwin said. “We have the same philosophies regarding customer relationships and how we conduct the business of banking, so we could not have found a better partner to serve our customers.
“I want to assure Parkway banking customers that we are committed to continue to provide the same excellent customer service they have come to expect.”
As of June 30, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Citizens Bank had 149 employees and $562.7 million in assets. It has five offices in Batesville, two in Hot Springs and one each in the communities of Pleasant Plains, Cave City, Imboden and Mountain View
Citizens Bank entered the Northwest Arkansas market in February when it opened a loan-production office at 1676 E. Joyce Blvd., headed up by Doug Lynch. The LPO was converted to a full-service branch in July.
Parkway Bank had assets of $131.8 million as of June 30, up from $122.6 million in mid-2014, and 36 employees. In addition to its headquarters on Pinnacle Hills Parkway in Rogers, the bank has south Arkansas branches in Crossett, Portland and Monticello (2).
The bank, founded in 1900, moved its charter from Portland to Rogers in 2004. It had about $102.1 million in deposits as of June 30. About $26.5 million of those deposits were in Benton County.
“We are excited to be a part of such a vibrant, progressive organization,” Taylor said. “With the added size and strength of Citizens Bank, it is evident to me this opportunity will enhance our ability to provide elevated banking options for our existing and future customers, and allow us to continue to grow and support the communities we serve in Arkansas.”