Relyance Bank to Acquire Heartland Bank Branches

Relyance Bank to Acquire Heartland Bank Branches

Relyance Bank of Pine Bluff said Wednesday that it will acquire Heartland Bank branches in Bryant, Fordyce and Sheridan and take on certain deposit accounts at Heartland locations in Little Rock.

Relyance is buying branches at 4937 Hwy. 5 N. in Bryant, 610 W. Fourth St. in Fordyce and 108 S. Main St. in Sheridan. In Little Rock, it is taking on accounts kept at Heartland offices at 5100 Kavanaugh Blvd. and 1 Information Way, Suite 300. It will assign those deposits to the Relyance branch at 1801 N. Fillmore St. in Little Rock.

The deal is subject to regulatory and other conditions and is expected to occur in the first quarter of 2018.

In August, Simmons Bank of Pine Bluff purchased the capital stock of Heartland Bank, which it had previously held as collateral for "certain indebtedness" of Heartland's parent company, Rock Bancshares Inc. Simmons last week received regulatory approval to merge the Heartland charter into Simmons Bank.

Simmons has 20 existing locations in Pulaski County, including 16 in Little Rock, and Heartland's Little Rock deposits would add only 9 percent to its deposit base in the county. 

The acquisition of Heartland's Saline County deposits will bump Relyance's deposit market share above Simmons' in that county, but both will remain also-rans in a county dominated by First Security Bank, Bank of the Ozarks, Regions Bank and Arvest Bank.

Neither Simmons nor Relyance currently has branches in Dallas or Grant counties.

"Heartland Bank is a good fit for our geographic market areas," Chuck Morgan, president and CEO of Relyance Bank said in a news release. "The acquisition provides us with the opportunity to offer more convenience and better serve our Relyance customers in central and south Arkansas, and the Bryant, Fordyce and Sheridan branches allow us to expand into strategically important communities for Relyance Bank."

Relyance Bank is owned by Jefferson Bancshares Inc. of Pine Bluff. It has 16 banking locations in Hot Springs, Hot Springs Village, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Redfield, Star City and White Hall. It had $770.7 million in total assets as of Sept. 30. After the acquisition, Relyance will have nearly $950 million in total assets.

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