Centennial Bank Buys Premier Bank of Florida

Home BancShares Inc. of Conway announced Tuesday a pending asset purchase with Premier Bank Holding Co. of Tallahassee, Fla.

The deal, expected to close during the fourth quarter, is subject to a court approved final sale order relating to the acquired assets as well as approval of regulators. The companies did not disclose a purchase price.

Premier Bank Holding received $9.5 million in TARP money on March 20, 2009. Its subsidiary bank, Premier Bank, recorded total assets of $282 million and a loss of $579,000, as of June 30.

The bank reported a $10.3 million loss during 2011, with year-end total assets of $296 million.

Premier, established in 1995, has a staff of 70 with six full-service locations in Tallahassee and one in Quincy, Fla.

"We are excited about the opportunity to expand our footprint in the Tallahassee area," John W. Allison, chairman of Home BancShares, said in a news release. "This is a great fit and allows us to provide expanded service to our current customers. If approved, Premier customers will now have access to 28 Centennial locations throughout the Florida Panhandle."

Centennial Bank said it plans to acquire six new locations in Tallahassee and the surrounding area.

Home BancShares (Nasdaq: HOMB) has purchased seven other banks in Florida with the help of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.