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First Financial Bank, Farmers Bank & Trust Close Acquisitions

2 min read

A pair of south Arkansas bank companies completed acquisitions this month.

First Financial Bank of El Dorado said it completed its purchase of First National Bank of Wynne and its seven locations in Nov. 1. The deal, first announced in July, is worth $60.2 million.

First Financial said the actual merger and conversion of operating systems will not occur until the second quarter of 2020. After that, First Financial bank will grow to $1.4 billion in assets, with about 400 employees and 15 branches in Arkansas.

“Since 1934, First Financial has provided community bank services across Arkansas and Mississippi.  We’ll be expanding our retail footprint into northeast Arkansas and provide expanded account offerings, access to secondary market mortgage lending, and additional retail locations for our customers,” Chris Hegi, First Financial’s president and CEO, said in a news release. “Finding the right partner in growing our bank was very important to us, it’s going to be a good fit.”

First Financial also announced that Sean Williams, the former CEO of First National Bank of Wynne, will join its board of directors. He’ll also be executive vice president and president of the northeast retail market.

Meanwhile, Farmers Bank & Trust of Magnolia said it completed its $8.4 million cash purchase of Bank of Prescott on Friday. 

“Farmers Bank & Trust is excited about the opportunity to serve the community of Prescott, Arkansas,” Farmers CEO Chris Gosnell said. “Upon completion, this transaction will present a good opportunity to continue our financial services expansion in Arkansas along the I-30 Interstate corridor.”

Farmers Bank & Trust is owned by a private holding company, Magnolia Banking Corp. of Magnolia. Bank of Prescott operated as a subsidiary of Prescott Bancshares Inc. of Prescott. At the close of the deal, Farmers Bank & Trust will have about $1.7 billion in assets.

Farmers said it will convert all Bank of Prescott accounts to Farmers Bank & Trust during the weekend of Dec. 7.

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