Centennial, Bank of Ozarks See Gold in Southeastern Expansion

by George Waldon  on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012 12:00 am  

Centennial Bank now holds an 8.5 percent share of this Florida market, and its seven branches service the deposits of $209 million.

That represents the fourth-largest banking franchise in the market.

(Click here for Johnny Allison's thoughts on Centennial’s seven Florida deals completed to date and an eighth in the works.)

Georgia on His Mind

The move into the Southeast by Bank of the Ozarks was powered by seven FDIC-assisted transactions.

Six of those deals demonstrate that George Gleason, the bank’s CEO and founder, has Georgia on his mind.

Bank of the Ozarks now operates the 29th ­largest banking franchise in Georgia, thanks to bank-failed bargains.

During a 13-month window, the bank amassed $700 million deposits in Georgia and assembled a network of 24 full-service branches.

In the process, the company gained sizable market shares in five Georgia counties. The list includes:

  • Dawson County, an hour northeast of Atlanta, where Bank of the Ozarks holds a deposit market share of 10.3 percent ($45.4 million).
  • Lowndes County, on the Florida border and home to Valdosta, where the bank holds a deposit market share of 6.2 percent ($107.5 million).
  • Bartow County, an hour northwest of Atlanta, where the company holds a deposit market share of 5.7 percent ($66.6 million).
  • Coweta County, less than an hour southwest of Atlanta, where Bank of the Ozarks holds a deposit market share of 5.7 percent ($72.5 million).
  • Glynn County, an hour south of Savannah on the Atlantic coast, where the bank holds a deposit market share of 4.4 percent ($77.4 million).

Three of these markets, combined with others gained through FDIC-as-sisted deals, help form a ring of opportunity around Atlanta, where Bank of the Ozarks now operates a loan production office.

“Fundamentally, it is already overbuilt in every loan category imaginable,” Gleason said of the Atlanta market during the company’s annual shareholders meeting in April. “There are still gems to be sifted from the rubble.”

Counting operations in Florida, North Carolina, Alabama and South Carolina, the company oversees deposits of more than $870 million in five southeastern states.

 

 

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