The First, A National Banking Association (“The First”), headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and subsidiary of The First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FBMS “FBMS”) has entered into a definitive purchase agreement to acquire seven Cadence Bank, N.A. branches in Northeast Mississippi. Cadence Bank, N.A. is a subsidiary of Cadence Bancorporation.
The divestiture of these branches is a result of the joint Letter of Agreement (“LOA”) entered into between BancorpSouth Bank (NYSE: BXS “BancorpSouth”) and Cadence with the United States Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (“DOJ”) in connection with the proposed merger of BancorpSouth and Cadence.
It is expected that The First will assume approximately $450 million in deposits for a premium of $1 million, acquire approximately $42 million in loans at par value, acquire the real estate associated with the seven Cadence branches at their appraised value, and acquire other assets associated with the branches at book value. The definitive purchase agreement provides that the consummation of the transaction must occur within 180 days following the BancorpSouth and Cadence merger. However, this transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including the consummation of the BancorpSouth and Cadence merger and receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals. The First intends to make offers of employment to current branch employees upon the close of the transaction and will be providing additional information to customers of the branches slated for divestiture.
The following Cadence branches will be divested:
- 128 East Commerce Street, Aberdeen, Mississippi
- 302 Highway 145 North, Aberdeen, Mississippi
- 657 Commerce Street, West Point, Mississippi
- 215 Highway 45 South, West Point, Mississippi
- 818 Highway 12 West, Starkville, Mississippi
- 793 Russell Street, Starkville, Mississippi
- 606 Highway 12 East, Starkville, Mississippi
“We are excited about growing our company’s presence in our home state of Mississippi with the addition of seven locations in Starkville, West Point, and Aberdeen,” said Hoppy Cole, President and CEO of The First. “This expansion furthers our strategic vision of building a high performing regional bank. We look forward to welcoming our new team members and clients, and we are thrilled with the opportunities for growth that this presents.”