Westrock Sets Sights on More Banking Deals

by George Waldon  on Monday, Feb. 28, 2011 12:00 am  

The Bear State transaction should be completed during the second quarter, likely during May, if approved by stockholders, regulators and securities officials.

"Right now, we're on track to accomplish that," Brandt said.

What is the reaction to the Bear State offer?

"They see the opportunities for us in the future," Brandt said. "We've heard nothing but positive, I guess you could say, praise from the local stockholders. This will allow us to get back to business as normal."

Massey said the due diligence was a pleasant experience with few surprises along the way.

"There will be some losses, and we don't know exactly how much," he said. "But under all the scenarios we've looked at, this will be one of the best capitalized banks in the state after all is said and done, and there will be opportunities down the road for consolidation."

Profitable Pinnacle

Pinnacle Bancshares Inc., a de novo venture formed in January 1997 and backed with two stock offerings totaling $7.3 million, grew to $135 million in total assets.

The one-bank holding company for Pinnacle Bank with two Little Rock locations was sold in March 2002 for $21.2 million to BancorpSouth Inc. of Tupelo, Miss.

The transaction reflected a purchase price of 2.4 times book value, ranking it among the most lucrative bank deals in Arkansas. As structured, the sale represented a compounded annual rate of return on investment of about 21 percent.

The Pinnacle Bank name went dormant before gaining new life in 2004 when the moniker was purchased for a new bank effort in Rogers.



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