by Lance Turner
Posted 10/23/2013 05:03 pm
Updated 2 months ago
Home BancShares Inc. of Conway said Wednesday that it has completed its previously announced purchase of Liberty Bancshares Inc. of Jonesboro, the parent company of Liberty Bank of Arkansas.
Shareholders of both companies approved the deal at separate meetings held Wednesday. Bank executives said the deal will be officially complete when the company files articles of merger with the Arkansas Secretary of State and the Arkansas State Bank Department on Thursday.
The deal is valued at $320.1 million, an increase from its originally announced value of $280 million because Home BancShares' stock price has risen since June.
The merger makes Home BancShares, the parent company of Centennial Bank, the second largest bank holding company headquartered in Arkansas. Only Arvest Bank of Fayetteville, with total assets of $14.2 billion, is larger.
The combined company has about $7 billion in total assets, $5.4 billion in deposits, $4.4 billion in loans, 153 branches and 1,500 employees across Arkansas, Florida and Alabama.
"This game-changing milestone in the histories of two well-established Arkansas banks begins a new era of opportunity for the company, our Home and Liberty shareholders and customers, and the communities we serve," said John Allison, Chairman of Home BancShares. "This combination is the perfect fit to provide more convenient locations to our loyal customers. We are now truly Arkansas' community bank."
"This is a historic day as we embrace both our valued history and our exciting future," Wallace W. Fowler, chairman of Liberty, said in a news release. "We are joining one of the strongest and most respected community banks in the country. We are pleased to be joining the Home BancShares family and know our customers will be well served."