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Great Southern purchases failed bank's assets

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Great Southern Bank, subsidiary of Great Southern Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GSBC), has entered into an agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to purchase the assets and assume the deposits of Ellington-based Sun Security Bank. The southern Missouri bank was closed Oct. 7 by the Missouri Division of Finance.

The 27 branches of Sun Security will reopen tomorrow as branches of Great Southern. Sun Security operated branches in 15 counties in central and southern Missouri, with one branch in Stockton overlapping Great Southern's service area, according to a Great Southern news release.

As of June 30, Sun Security had roughly $355.9 million in assets and $290.4 million in deposits. Great Southern has agreed to purchase the majority of the assets - $245 million in loans and $35 million of other real estate at a discount of $55 million - and $287 million in deposits.

The FDIC and Great Southern have entered into a loss-share transaction on $351.9 million of Sun Security's assets, a move that is expected to maximize returns on the assets and minimize disruptions for loan customers, according to the FDIC.

“We welcome Sun Security Bank customers and employees to Great Southern," Great Southern President and CEO Joe Turner said in the release. "Customers can be confident that their deposits are safe and readily accessible. It’s business as usual."

According to the Missouri Division of Finance, Sun Security has operated under close supervision since 2007.

"The demise of this bank is the result of management's aggressive lending decisions, which concentrated loans in commercial real estate and development projects," said Richard Weaver, commissioner of the Division of Finance, in a separate news release. "Many of these projects failed and losses were realized.  

"These losses and the ongoing expenses of collecting and disposing of the foreclosed properties are more than the bank can support."

Attempts by the bank's management to sell the bank and garner additional capital were unsuccessful. The bank's board voted to turn its assets and deposits over to the Division of Finance, as is required by Missouri law when a bank is failing, according to the release.

With the acquisition, Great Southern now operates 103 banks in Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska. Its assets exceed $3.7 billion.

As of 11:31 a.m., Great Southern Bancorp. shares were trading at $18.28, compared to a 52-week range of $15.01 to $24.60.[[In-content Ad]]

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