Simmons First Submits 'Successful Bid' for Metropolitan Bank

by Lance Turner  on Monday, Sep. 9, 2013 6:31 pm  

Simmons First National Bank Corp., along with Arvest Bank and Ford Financial Fund II of Dallas, made proposals to acquire Metropolitan National Bank during an historic auction Monday at the Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock. (Photo by Mauren Kennedy)

On July 30, the Ford Financial Fund said that, in addition to the $16 million in cash it offered for Metropolitan, it planned to make a $74.2 million capital contribution to the bank  enough to recapitalize it to the level required by federal regulators.

Monday's auction came after years of Metropolitan suffering from problem loans in northwest Arkansas, which led to almost $100 million in losses beginning in 2008. The bank was under a supervisory agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, filed in May 2008.

Metropolitan had worked since 2009 to find a partner to recapitalize the bank. Other banks also circled, conducting due diligence to possibly make an acquisition offer or be prepared to buy should the bank fail and the FDIC swoop in.

Monday's took place behind closed doors in meeting rooms at the Wyndham. The rooms were reserved under the name "Project Diamond."

The complete statement from Simmons:


Pine Bluff, AR – Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ-GS: SFNC) announced today that it participated in the auction to acquire Metropolitan National Bank ("MNB") and was designated as the Successful Bidder subject to the approval of the U. S. Bankruptcy Court at a hearing scheduled on September 12, 2013 in the bankruptcy proceeding of its parent bank holding company, Rogers Bancshares, Inc. MNB, a national bank with $991 million in assets with its main office in Little Rock and branches in 14 other communities in the State of Arkansas, has a rich history of providing exemplary customer service to the communities in which it is located. Simmons will combine the operations of MNB with Simmons First National Bank and expects to continue to provide the highest quality customer service throughout the combined service area.

A more detailed information release will be made on Thursday, September 12, 2013 after the ruling of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to be followed by an analyst conference call at 4:00 p.m. Central Time on Thursday.

Simmons First National Corporation is a $3.6 billion Arkansas based financial holding company with eight community banks in Pine Bluff, Lake Village, Jonesboro, Rogers, Searcy, Russellville, El Dorado and Hot Springs, Arkansas. The Company’s eight banks conduct financial operations from 91 offices, of which 87 are financial centers, in 54 communities, in Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri. The Company’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol “SFNC”.



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