BancorpSouth continues acquisition spree by expanding into Florida panhandle

BancorpSouth Bank continued its recent acquisition spree with the purchase of a small community bank chain in the Florida Panhandle in a stock-and-cash deal valued at around $100 million, company officials announced earlier this month.

BanscorpSouth officials announced on March 5 that the Tupelo,Miss.-based regional banking group will substantially expand BancorpSouth’s presence in Florida with the purchase of Summit, which offers personal and commercial lending solutions, wealth management and investment services through its four offices located in Panama City, Panama City Beach, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola.

“We are excited to announce this agreement with Summit,” said BancorpSouth Chairman and CEO Dan Rollins. “The opportunity to expand our presence in these strong and growing markets is exciting. We’re looking forward to serving more people along Florida’s Emerald Coast.”

Today, BancorpSouth has only one full-service banking office in the Florida Panhandle region in Miramar Beach, and a mortgage loan production office in Crestview. At the end of 2018, Summit had total assets of $472 million, total loans of $297 million and total deposits of $402 million.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, BancorpSouth will issue 2.5 million shares of common stock, plus $20 million in cash, for all outstanding shares of the Florida community bank. The terms of the agreement provide for a collar with respect to the total deal value ranging from $95 million to $107.5 million. If necessary, the share count may be adjusted downward or the cash consideration may be adjusted upward to accommodate the respective boundaries of the collar, officials said.

BancorpSouth’s purchase of the small community bank in the Florida Panhandle continues a string of strategic acquisitions after the Mississippi banking group emerged from a four-year operational hiatus due to regulatory restrictions. In 2014, the FDIC downgraded the bank’s Community Investment Act rating after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Department of Justice announced a joint action against BancorpSouth for discriminatory mortgage lending practices that harmed African Americans and other minorities.

Since early 2018, however, the Mississippi regional bank with more than 40 branches in Arkansas has grown its southern footprint with five key acquisitions across Alabama, Louisiana and Texas that together have total assets of more than $3.5 billion.

Upon completion of the Florida deal, Summit President and CEO Andy Stein will serve as chairman of BancorpSouth Florida. The merger has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2019, subject to regulatory approval and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

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