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Bank of the Ozarks Seals 2 Deals, Is Biggest in Arkansas by Assets

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Bank of the Ozarks Inc. of Little Rock became the largest bank in Arkansas this week after closing two major acquisitions in two days.

On Wednesday, it finalized its record-setting, $800 million deal to buy Community & Southern Bank of Atlanta, announced in October. That acquisition pushes the publicly traded bank further into Georgia, where it now has almost as many branches as it does in Arkansas.

On Thursday it completed a deal to buy C1 Financial Inc. of St. Petersburg, Florida, and its wholly owned bank subsidiary, C1 Bank, in an all-stock transaction that was worth $402.5 million when it announced it in November.

The move puts the rapidly expanding bank in Miami and Orlando for the first time and makes Bank of the Ozarks, with nearly $18 billion in assets, the largest bank chartered in Arkansas.

“Bank of the Ozarks is very pleased to complete the acquisition of C1 Bank, providing 33 strategically located and highly complementary Florida offices, including offices in some of Florida’s highest growth and strongest economic markets,” Chairman and CEO George Gleason said in a news release. 

“We expect C1’s unique culture and leadership in technology and innovation to be transformational in our quest to be an industry leader in best-in-class customer experiences and operational efficiency,” Gleason continued. “We have already begun to implement technology enhancements developed at C1 Bank which will benefit our clients throughout our nine state footprint and provide increased operational efficiencies.”

C1 Bank, C1’s wholly-owned bank subsidiary, was merged with Bank of the Ozarks’ wholly owned bank subsidiary.

Trevor Burgess, formerly president and CEO of C1 and founder of C1 Bank, was named chief innovation officer for Bank of the Ozarks Inc. and its bank subsidiary. Alan Randolph, formerly executive vice president and senior lender with C1 Bank, was named Florida division president at Bank of the Ozarks, overseeing the firm’s 44 Florida banking offices.

The Community & Southern purchase added more than $4 billion in assets. C1 brought another $1.7 billion, pushing Bank of the Ozarks’ asset total to $17.9 billion. Privately held Arvest Bank of Fayetteville, led by Jim Walton, is now the second-largest bank in Arkansas, with $16.4 billion in assets as of March 31.

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