Simmons Bank to acquire another Missouri bank for $435 million

by Wesley Brown ([email protected]) 6,306 views 

Pine Bluff-based Simmons First National Corp. on Wednesday (July 31) announced the acquisition of a Columbia, Mo.-based community bank in an all-stock deal valued at nearly $435 million. Bank officials said the deal will allow the Arkansas regional bank to bolster its recently expanded operations in Missouri, Texas and Oklahoma.

Based on the definitive agreement signed by Simmons and The Landrum Co., the parent company of the privately-held Landmark Bank of Columbia, Simmons will acquire all the outstanding capital stock of Landrum. After closing, Landmark Bank is expected to continue operations as a separate bank subsidiary of Simmons for an interim period until it is merged with and into Simmons Bank.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate to be able to engage in this transaction with The Landrum Company,” Simmons Chairman and CEO George Makris Jr. said. “With over $3 billion of assets and locations throughout Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, Landmark Bank will fit in our organization perfectly.”

“We at Landmark Bank are extremely excited about the opportunity to join forces with Simmons,” added Landrum President and CEO Kevin Gibbens. “Simmons has grown to become an impressive regional bank known for successfully integrating its merger partners into its enterprise, and that gives me great confidence in our combined future.”

The surprise deal with Landmark Bank will be Simmons’ second major acquisition in the “Show Me State” in 2019 and will expand the fast-growing Pine Bluff regional banking group’s footprint from the thriving urban market in St. Louis to the state’s fastest growing city in Columbia, the Ozark college town of nearly 125,000 people and home to flagship University of Missouri.

During the second quarter, Simmons First completed its acquisition of St. Louis-based Reliance Bancshares Inc. in a $214 million cash-and-stock deal first announced in November. Together with Landmark Bank, Simmons is now expected to have dozens of new branch locations sprinkled across key rural and urban markets in Missouri.

Not only does the Landmark deal consolidate Simmons’ growth to the north, the Columbia, Mo., family-owned bank also has branch locations in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. Those banks will fit seamlessly with branch locations acquired following Simmons’ $1 billion acquisition of Stillwater, Okla.-based Southwest Bancorp Inc. and First Texas BHC Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas, in late 2017.

“Landmark Bank is a strong banking franchise with deep history and much success in the communities it serves, and I am thrilled that the Landmark Bank team has chosen to become our newest partner,” said Makris. “By combining our companies, we will substantially enhance our ability to provide quality financial products and services to our customers throughout Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas. We look forward to officially welcoming Landmark Bank’s customers and associates to the Simmons family later this year.”

Under the terms of Landmark deal, the holders of Landrum’s common stock will receive a total of 17,350,000 shares of Simmons’ common stock. One Landmark share will be converted into the right to receive approximately 25.5 shares of the Simmons’ stock, subject to normal conditions and adjustments. In addition, each share of Landrum’s series E preferred stock will be converted into the right to receive one share of Simmons’ series D preferred stock, bank officials said.

Simmons officials said the deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2019, following the endorsement of Landrum shareholders and customary state and federal regulatory approvals.

“Through this transaction, we will be able to take advantage of Simmons’ size and scale to provide our customers with additional products and services, as well as greater lending capabilities,” Gibbens said of the Ozark community bank that has 39 branch locations in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. “I am convinced that this strategic transaction represents the best path forward for our customers, associates, and shareholders alike.”

Following the close of the Reliance deal on April 16, Simmons had approximately $17.6 billion in consolidated assets and more than 200 branch locations across Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Following the expected close of the Landmark deal in late 2019 or early 2020, Simmons will have assets nearing $21 billion, along with total loans and deposits surpassing $15 billion and $17 billion, respectively.

Simmons will also close the gap between it and Arkansas’ two largest banks by assets in Bentonville-based Arvest Bank and Bank OZK of Little Rock respectively at $18 billion and $23 billion. In early trading on Wednesday, Simmons shares were up nine cents at $25.88 on the Nasdaq stock exchange.