Bank of the Ozarks To Buy Texas Bank for $23 Million

Little Rock's Bank of the Ozarks Inc. announced Monday a $23 million agreement to acquire Bancshares Inc. of Houston.

The cash transaction will expand the Texas footprint of Bank of the Ozarks in the Houston and Austin area markets.

Bancshares is a $301 million-asset holding company for Omnibank, which operates three offices in Houston, and one office each in San Antonio, Austin, Cedar Park and Lockhart.

Nearly half of BOZ's outstanding loans and leases, excluding covered loans and purchased non-covered loans, have been originated by its Texas offices, according to George Gleason, chairman and chief executive officer of Bank of the Ozarks.

"This transaction, our second announced in 2013, will be our 10th transaction since March 2010 and will position us to further capitalize on growth opportunities throughout Texas," Gleason said.

Both bank boards have approved the deal. Completion of the transaction, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval, is expected to close during the first quarter of 2014.

Omnibank recorded a $1 million loss through the first nine months of this year. The bank reported annual losses of nearly $2 million in 2012, nearly $4.6 million in 2011, $3.9 million in 2010 and $1.6 million in 2009.

Bank of the Ozarks has a Real Estate Specialties Group loan production office in Austin and expects to open an RESG loan production office in Houston during the first quarter.

BOZ is a $4.7 billion-asset bank holding company with 131 offices in Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Florida, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and New York.