Johnny Allison on Centennial Bank's Acquisition March Through Florida

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

Johnny Allison, chairman and founder of Centennial’s parent company, Home BancShares Inc., talks about the banks being bought up in the Southeast.

March 12, 2010: FDIC-assisted purchase of Old Southern Bank, Orlando, Fla., with seven branches, $319.7 million in deposits and a loss-share transaction on $282.7 million in assets.

Allison: “There’s more people in the Orlando MSA than Arkansas. The potential there is huge. We wanted to be in on the growth of a powerful economic engine, so we wanted to be there, and we’re pleased to be there.”

March 26, 2010: FDIC-assisted purchase of Key West Bank, Key West, Fla., with assets of $87.5 million and deposits of $66.7 million.

Allison: “We were already there, and it brought us the value of an in-market acquisition. The bank had 25 employees. We needed five of them. The savings were tremendous. We turned their one office into a full-service branch.”

July 30, 2010: FDIC-assisted purchases of Coastal Community Bank, Panama City, Fla., with total assets of $372.9 million and total deposits of $363.2 million, and Bayside Savings Bank of St. Joe, Fla., with total assets of $66.1 million and total deposits of $52.4 million.

Allison: “That’s a market we wanted to be in. We wanted to be in the Panhandle. It got overbuilt similar to northwest Arkansas, and it is recovering. Then, they had the oil spill. That was pretty devastating. But they’ve just had one of their best hospitality seasons ever. The market is turning. We bought it when it was down, and it’s coming around.”

Oct. 1, 2010: FDIC-assisted purchase of Wakulla Bank, Crawfordville, Fla., with $353 million in assets, $244 million in loans, $71 million in investment securities and $355 million in deposits.

Allison: “That was an overlap deal that also takes in Tallahassee. It gave us in-market merger savings with our earlier deals for Bayside and Coastal. We like the Tallahassee market. It’s a capital city market.”

Nov. 19, 2010: FDIC-assisted purchase of Gulf State Community Bank, Carrabelle, Fla., with $84.4 million in assets and five branches that employed 60.

Allison: “This was a nice in-market deal for our Panhandle operations. We didn’t keep a single facility. We picked up an insurance agency, which was nice, and picked up about $100 million in deposits. It was truly a 100 percent in-market merger. The savings were tremendous.”

Feb. 16, 2012: Cash purchase of 17 Vision Bank locations in Alabama and Florida from Park National Corp. of Newark, Ohio. The $27.9 million transaction also encompassed $354 million in loans and $520 million in deposits.



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