Simmons First Expects More Merger Expenses

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 12:00 am  

George Makris

You may have missed this in Simmons First National Corp.’s second-quarter numbers, but it spent $2.6 million on merger-related costs for the quarter that ended June 30.

In the last three quarters, that brings the total amount spent on bills tied to its mergers to $10.3 million.

Simmons CEO George Makris Jr. told us that most of the expenses went to attorneys, financial advisers and other professionals. Simmons’ advisers were Sterne Agee & Leach Inc. of Birmingham, Alabama, which is one of the largest privately owned financial services firms in the country, and the Little Rock law firm Quattlebaum Grooms Tull & Burrow PLLC.

Other fees went to bills for filing applications and closing branches, Makris said.

Simmons’ acquisition appetite started last year with Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock and then continued into this year with the announcement that it was buying Delta Trust & Bank of Little Rock, First State Bank of Union City, Tennessee, and Liberty Bancshares of Springfield, Missouri.

And the merger-related costs on Simmons’ balance sheet aren’t going away anytime soon, Makris said.

When the acquisitions were announced, Simmons’ filings showed that one-time merger-related costs for Delta, Liberty and First State were estimated to total $18.8 million.

“We’ll have merger-related costs through at least the third quarter of 2015,” Makris said.

 

 

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