Southern Bancorp to acquire Arkansas County Bank

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,818 views 

Southern Bancorp, Inc. announced Thursday (Jan. 21) it has entered into a merger agreement to acquire DeWitt First Bankshares Corp. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Arkansas County Bank, a $185 million asset bank with two branches in Arkansas County (DeWitt and Stuttgart) and one in Sevier County (Lockesburg).

Southern Bancorp is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“We are excited to introduce Arkansas County Bank’s team members, customers, and communities to Southern Bancorp’s unique blend of mission-driven products and services aimed at providing everyone in the community with the tools to build wealth,” said Southern Bancorp CEO Darrin Williams. “As one of America’s oldest and largest CDFIs, we are driven by our mission to increase economic opportunity and build individual net worth through traditional banking products and services combined with financial development offerings such as financial education, credit and homebuyer counseling, and free tax preparation among others.”

“We are excited to join the Southern Bancorp family,” said Warren Jennings, Jr., President and CEO at Arkansas County Bank. “For over 110 years, our bank has believed in a community-centric approach to banking, and Southern Bancorp’s nationally recognized focus on offering a wide range of unique tools to serve the community is a perfect fit for our organization and those we serve. We look forward to joining in their mission.”

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021 and will increase the number of Southern Bancorp locations across Arkansas and Mississippi to 52.

Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor and Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP served as legal advisor to Southern Bancorp, Inc. in connection with the transaction.

Olsen Palmer LLC served as financial advisor to DeWitt First Bankshares Corporation while Dover Dixon Horne, PLLC served as legal advisor.

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