Update: Bank of the Ozarks to Buy Summit Bancorp for $216M

by George Waldon and Lance Turner  on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 4:51 pm  

"I'm proud of the organization we've built over the past 14 years at Summit Bank and equally proud to join forces with Bank of the Ozarks," Whipple said in the news release. "We are very pleased to partner with one of the nation’s most respected banking organizations."

Bank of the Ozarks has 136 offices, including 66 in Arkansas. The company went public in July 1997 and has since expanded into Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Florida, South Carolina and New York.

Arkansas Business was first to report the deal. Later, Bank of the Ozarks issued a news release disclosing the value of the transaction. Shares of the company closed 7 percent higher on Thursday at $62.31. 

'Comfortable Transition'

Bank of the Ozark has filed several documents with Securities and Exchange Commission detailing the acquisition. There's a slideshow presentation for investors, a question-and-answer document for employees and an 8-K filing.

In the slideshow, Bank of the Ozarks touted the two banks' "similar culture" and prospects for a "comfortable transition." It said it expects the the system conversion for the two banks to take place in the fourth quarter.

The presentation also said the merger will give Bank of the Ozarks "significant presence in new Arkansas markets," including Arkadelphia, Malvern, Magnolia and Hope. And it said the combination will result in "top or near-top market share in Saline and Garland counties."

Another Bank Deal

The deal is the latest in a series of Arkansas bank mergers since last year. 

In May, Sigma Holdings Inc. of Little Rock, a new investment company led by veteran Little Rock banker Troy Duke and Garland County businessman Lewis Ray "LR" Gardner, announced a deal to buy the Bank of Rison.

In June, Home BancShares Inc. of Conway, the publicly traded parent of Centennial Bank, announced a deal to purchase Wallace Fowler’s Liberty Bancshares Inc. of Jonesboro, creating the second-largest Arkansas-chartered bank. When it closed in October, the deal was worth $320.1 million.

In July, First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas, the publicly traded parent company of First Federal Bank of Harrison, announced a $124 million cash and stock deal to acquire First National Security Co., the holding company for First National Bank of Hot Springs and Heritage Bank in Jonesboro. The deal will triple First Federal Bancshares’ assets to about $1.4 billion and expand its branch network. It’s set to close in March.

Also in July, Rogers Bancshares Inc. announced a Chapter 11 bankruptcy to facilitate the sale of its Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock. In September, Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff bought the bank at auction for $53.6 million. The purchase closed in November.

In October, Arvest Bank announced it would buy National Banking Corp., the holding company of North Little Rock's National Bank of Arkansas, for an estimated $9.6 million. Arvest said the deal will help improve its market share and visibility in Conway, Maumelle, North Little Rock and West Little Rock. The deal closed in November.



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