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Simmons Bank finalizes $81M in transactions

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Pine Bluff, Arkansas-based Simmons First National Corp. (Nasdaq: SFNC) completed the $9.3 million sale of its property and casualty insurance business and also ironed out the details of a $72 million acquisition.

Insurance sale
Simmons sold its P&C insurance business to Memphis, Tennessee-based Sunstar Insurance Group LLC for $9.3 million. The financial institution operated the offices as FSB Insurance Inc., Simmons First Insurance Services Inc. and Simmons First Insurance Services of TN LLC.

The sale does not include the majority of Simmons Bank’s life, health and employee benefits insurance services, according to a news release.

Sunstar Insurance Group has 11 offices, including one in Springfield at 1801 W. Norton Road. Simmons’ 54 P&C insurance employees transferred to Sunstar, but none moved to the Queen City office, said spokeswoman Caroline Makris. She noted, however, that “Sunstar Insurance Group’s network directly aligns with and can seamlessly support Simmons’ markets.”

Acquisition finalization
After closing on the $72.2 million purchase of Jackson, Tennessee-based Hardeman County Investment Co. Inc. in May, Simmons Bank completed the merger of the company into its operations yesterday.

“This conversion was the culmination of countless hours spent by an outstanding group of associates dedicated to not only making this transition possible but also making it a success,” said Marty Casteel, chairman and CEO of Simmons Bank, in a news release.

Simmons Bank, which operates six branches in Springfield, gained Hardeman County Investment’s 10 First South Bank branches, $464 million in assets, $372 million in deposits and $260 million in loans through the deal. Now, Simmons has $9.1 billion in assets, $7.1 billion in deposits, $6.2 billion in loans, 2,000 employees and 150 branches in four states.

Known locally for purchasing Liberty Bancshares Inc. and Ozark Trust and Investment Corp., Simmons recorded second-quarter net income of $23.1 million, up from $22.9 million a year earlier.

SFNC shares were trading at $51.78 as of 9:06 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $45.90 to $67.


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