Arkansas Business' 25 Great Whispers (25th Anniversary)

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Mar. 23, 2009 12:00 am  

July 21, 1997
Done Deal
Did you know that one of the largest Arkansas-based bank holding companies is selling to an out-of-state concern?

Insiders report that $505 million-asset Horizon Bancorp Inc. of Arkadelphia has reached an agreement to sell to St. Louis-based Mercantile Bancorporation Inc.

No details on how much Mercantile is paying for Horizon, the state's third-largest privately owned bank holding company.

Ross Whipple, chairman, chief executive officer and a leading stockholder in Horizon, couldn't be reached for comment. But sources inside Horizon confirmed the sale.

Horizon has locations across south-central Arkansas, including Malvern, Arkadelphia, Bismarck, Gurdon, Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village and Sheridan.

Mercantile entered Arkansas with its May 1995 acquisition of TCBankshares Inc. of North Little Rock. That deal was worth $154.6 million. The addition of Conway's Security Bank followed.

Sept. 28, 1998
Bank on It
Heard about a new bank venture for some familiar faces?

The Conway triad of Johnny Allison, Alex Lieblong and Robert "Bunny" Adcock Jr. are among the investors buying Holly Grove Bank.

Why would the group bother with a bank totaling $27.7 million in assets and based in Monroe County?

That's an easy one.

Statewide branching comes into play Jan. 1, and this will allow the owners of an Arkansas bank charter to open shop anywhere in the state – subject to the usual regulatory review, of course.

We won't be surprised to see Holly Grove Bank – or whatever its new name might be – make its first branch move to say, Conway.



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