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Grand Bancorp Reassembles Lending Duo

2 min read

The reconstruction of a two-bank holding company is nearing completion in northwest Arkansas.

Grand Bancorp Inc. of Grove, Oklahoma, is moving forward with the $6 million purchase of Decatur State Bank. The transaction will be funded through a $2.75 million stock offering and a $3.2 million loan from Grand Bancorp.

When the deal is completed before year’s end, the $128 million-asset Benton County bank will rejoin its sister company, Grand Savings Bank in Grove.

The same investor group that acquired the $235 million-asset Oklahoma lender in April 2013 for $21.8 million is buying Decatur State. Both financial institutions previously were owned by Peterson Holding Co. of Decatur.

Though based in Oklahoma, Grand Bancorp is dominated by Arkansas investors who currently control a combined 75 percent stake through four families: Anthony Steele of Bentonville, president of Steele Development Inc.; Rex Grimsley of Bentonville, cattleman and president of Center Valley Estates Inc.; Gary Anderson of Rogers, owner of Anderson Electric & Plumbing Supply;and Steve Zimmerman of Rogers, president of Midland Construction Inc.

Other Arkansas businessmen associated with Grand Bancorp include Guy Cable Jr. of Bentonville, director and SVP; Tyler Steele of Bentonville, director and VP; and Roland Julian, director and president of Rogers Insurance.

Since buying Grand Savings, the group expanded its branch network into Benton County. A Bentonville branch was opened last November, and a Rogers branch was opened four months ago.

In addition to Grove, Grand Savings operates a location in Jay, Oklahoma.

Decatur State does business through three Benton County locations in Decatur, Siloam Springs and Gentry.

The namesake family who controlled Peterson Holding was washed out of the ownership picture in November 2012 when its shares were relinquished to Chambers Bancshares Inc. of Danville. The Peterson stock was collateral on about $20 million of debt.

The sale of Grand Savings and Decatur State by the Chambers-controlled Peterson Holding both closed at just a bit over book value. The Grand Savings deal closed at 101.73 percent of tangible book value.

Total assets at Peterson Holding peaked at $434 million at year-end 2010. Decatur State lost more than $17 million during 2010-11, while Grand Savings turned out annual profits without pause.

Decatur State generated net income of $184,000 through the first nine months of this year. If the bank continues its profit trajectory, 2014 would mark three successive years of finishing in the black.

Decatur State ended 2012 with an $11,000 profit after recording net income of $344,000 during 2011.

With its two largest assets gone, Peterson Holding will be shell of its former self owned by Chambers.

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