Acme Files Chapter 11 to Avoid Takeover

by George Waldon  on Monday, May. 5, 2014 12:00 am  

Lex and Alex Golden, father and son executives at Acme Holding Co., are fending off creditors with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in hopes of preserving equity in Acme’s ownership of the $138 million-asset  Allied Bank of Mulberry (Crawford County). | (Photo by Jason Burt)

Like Rogers Bancshares, Acme Holding took on debt to shore up its bank, and the financial problems at the holding company have everything to do with loan problems at its bank.

The Chapter 11 of Acme isn’t portrayed as an auction, but some banking sources believe the end result will be new ownership of Allied Bank.

Executives at the $758 million-asset Chambers Bank declined comment.

Lex Golden and John Chambers, CEOs of their re-spective bank holding companies, have known each other for many years, and a business relationship between Golden’s Acme Holding and Chambers Bank isn’t a recent thing either.

More than 12 years ago, Golden was on the brink of selling Allied Bank (then known as Bank of Mulberry) to Chambers Bancshares.

That deal to acquire the bank and its $25 million in assets was called off in September 1996.

The $3.27 million purchase already had received regulatory approval, but both parties decided to not follow through during the 90-day waiting period.

Today’s Allied Bank is the same size as another financially bruised lender whose owners leveraged its stock with Chambers Bank.

The $138 million-asset Decatur State Bank (Benton County) recorded a $1.1 million profit during the first quarter after Chambers took over the bank.

The change of ownership came after Decatur’s parent company, Peterson Holding Co., defaulted on a loan to Chambers Bank.

In a prepared statement, Lex Golden, chairman and chief executive officer of Acme Holding Co., said:

“When first hit by losses related to the Kevin Lewis fraud in 2010, Acme borrowed money to infuse into the bank. This loan was secured by Acme’s ownership in Allied Bank and represented a fraction of its value.”



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