Community First Bancshares Exits TARP In the Black

by George Waldon  on Monday, Mar. 10, 2014 12:00 am  

The bankruptcy of Rogers Bancshares last year led to the $53.6 million auction of Metropolitan to Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff.

First Federal Bancshares of Arkansas Inc. of Harrison left a $9.9 million loss in its wake in 2011 after new money entered the ownership picture.

Bear State Financial Holdings LLC of Little Rock acquired controlling interest and recapitalized the company in a transaction that included a 1-for-5 reverse stock split, retiring TARP debt and investing $40.3 cash.

First Federal is in the process of changing its name to Bear State Financial Inc.

That move coincides with the $78 million cash-stock swap purchase of First National Security Co., the holding company for First National Bank of Hot Springs and Heritage Bank in Jonesboro.

The combination will almost triple First Federal assets from $548 million to about $1.5 billion and expand its branch network to 44 in Arkansas and two in southeast Oklahoma.



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