The Top 10 Arkansas Business Stories of 2012: Making History

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Dec. 24, 2012 12:00 am  

9. Banks Make More Deals Out of State

The stream of bank closings and attendant FDIC-assisted acquisitions slowed considerably during 2012. Regulators closed 51 lenders across the nation through mid-December compared with 92 in 2011.

Arkansas financial concerns played the role of buyer in three of those transactions as well as four conventional buys that were completed or announced during the year.

Simmons First National Bank of Pine Bluff expanded its Missouri holdings with FDIC-assisted purchases of Truman Bank of St. Louis in September and Excel Bank of Sedalia, Mo., in October. The Truman transaction closed at a $20.9 million discount for assets of $282 million, while the Excel deal was recorded at a $21 million discount for assets of $201 million.

The deals represented the third and fourth FDIC-assisted buys for Simmons since the conveyor belt of bank failures began moving in 2008.

In November, Centennial Bank of Conway bought Heritage Bank of Florida, based in the northern Tampa suburb of Lutz. The bank’s seventh FDIC-assisted deal included $194 million in assets plus a cash settlement. Centennial Bank also took over performing loans of $158 million and deposits of $223 million.

Centennial’s parent company, Home BancShares Inc., completed a semi-conventional purchase of Premier Bank, with total assets of $282 million and six locations in Tallahassee and one in Quincy, Fla.

The $1.4 million cash deal, completed this month, was struck as Premier Bank declared bankruptcy one step ahead of a regulatory takeover.

In February, Home BancShares completed the $27.9 million purchase of 17 Vision Bank locations in southern Alabama and the Florida Panhandle from Park National Corp. The conventional transaction was part of a deal that included $354 million in loans on $520 million in deposits.

In October, Little Rock’s Bank of the Ozarks Inc. struck a conventional $27.3 million stock/cash combo deal to buy Genala Banc Inc. GBI owns the $170 million-asset Citizens Bank, a single-location operation in Geneva, Ala., on the Florida border about 80 miles north of Panama City, Fla.

In June, Arvest Bank of Fayetteville completed the purchase of the financially challenged Union Bank of Kansas City, Mo. The $456 million-asset lender recorded losses of $15.6 million in 2011, $23.5 million in 2010, $20.8 million in 2009 and $4.1 million in 2008. Arvest also announced the purchase 29 bank branches in four states (including nine in Arkansas) from Bank of America Corp.

10. Manufacturing: Up, Down and All Around



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