First Federal Bancshares Plans Stock Buyback

by Gwen Moritz  on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014 7:07 am  

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas Inc., the holding company for First Federal Bank of Harrison and prospective buyer of First National Bank of Hot Springs and Heritage Bank of Jonesboro, announced Wednesday the buyback of up to $1 million worth of publicly traded stock.

The share repurchase program represents a bit over a half of a percent of First Federal's recent market capitalization of about $160 million, of which 79 percent is owned by a group of Little Rock investors called Bear State Financial Holdings LLC.

On Wednesday, the company also announced that Bear State Financial, which recapitalized First Financial in 2011, had extended its operating agreement by two years. An effect of the extension, according to the press release, is that the shares owned by Bear State Financial will not be distributed to its investors this year, as originally scheduled, but in June 2016.

First Financial and First National Security Co., the current holding company for First National Bank of Hot Springs and Heritage Bank of Jonesboro, will be "promptly" mailing proxy statement to their respective shareholders in advance of March meetings seeking approval of the merger of the two companies. A deal under which First Federal would acquire the larger First National Security Co. was first announced in July.



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