Springfield, MO

Simmons Bank finalizes $72M purchase

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Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC), which has grown its presence in Springfield via acquisitions, finalized its purchase of Jackson, Tennessee-based Hardeman County Investment Co. Inc. for $72.2 million.

The Simmons Bank holding company in November announced the acquisition of the company that owns First South Bank. The bank will transition to the Simmons Bank brand in September, according to a news release.

“First South Bank is a natural addition to our growing footprint,” said George Makris Jr., Simmons chairman and CEO, in the release. “First South and Simmons have similar cultures and operating styles, and together, we have a strong presence in western Tennessee.”

Through the purchase, Simmons Bank gains First South Bank’s 10 branches, $464 million in assets, $372 million in deposits and $260 million in loans.  Simmons now has $9.1 billion in assets, $7.2 billion in deposits, $6 billion in loans and 150 branches in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Tennessee.

Known locally for buying Liberty Bancshares Inc. and Ozark Trust and Investment Corp., Simmons Bank reported first-quarter earnings of $22.12 million, a 6 percent decrease from a year earlier. In Springfield, the company has six branches.

SFNC shares were trading at $51.55 as of 8:57 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $42.54 to $67.

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