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Mergers raise the ante

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by Paul Flemming

SBJ Staff

The $16 million purchase of Springfield's First City National Bank in the summer of 1996 has a connection to the April 30 announcement of Firstar Corporation's $10.6 billion acquisition of Mercantile Bancorporation Inc.

If the owners of First City stock held onto stock swapped in that acquisition, it would have appreciated about 83.81 percent in the last 34 months to a value of $23.9 million from its initial value of about $13 million.

In July 1996 Mark Twain Bank announced a deal to merge with First City. The deal included 80 percent of the purchase price in Mark Twain stock, 271,158 shares of it.

Subsequently, even before the First City merger closed, Mercantile announced it would acquire Mark Twain in a stock swap. Each share of Mark Twain was exchanged for 0.9520 Mercantile shares, turning those First City shares into 258,142 shares.

Mercantile management announced in July 1997 a three-for-two stock split, resulting in 387,214 shares for First City owners, assuming they held onto all of it.

Mercantile shareholders will get 2.091 shares of Firstar for each Mercantile share.

At its May 4 closing price, Firstar was valued at $29.50 per share. That makes the initial 271,158 shares of Mark Twain used in part to buy First City, after its multiple swaps and splits, have a market value of $23.9 million.

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