Southern Bancorp, Inc. Announces Agreement to Acquire Premier Bank of Arkansas
Arkadelphia, Ark. – Southern Bancorp, Inc., a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and holding company for Southern Bancorp Bank, today announced it has entered into a merger agreement to acquire FCB Financial Services, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Premier Bank of Arkansas, a $200 million asset bank with three branches operating in Marion, West Memphis, and Jonesboro, Arkansas.
“We are excited to introduce the Premier Bank team and its customers to Southern Bancorp’s mission-driven approach to banking,” said Southern Bancorp CEO Darrin Williams. “We have a long history of helping people along their wealth building journey – no matter their starting point – by providing access to capital, responsible bank products, and responsive financial development services such as financial education, credit coaching, and homebuyer counseling, and we look forward to extending that tradition into Premier Bank’s communities.”
Southern Bancorp’s unique organizational structure also supports its focus on being wealth builders for everyone in the community. The “Southern” organization consists of three separate CDFIs working together for a common mission, including Southern Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company; Southern Bancorp Bank, a $2 billion asset community development bank, and Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a 501(c)(3) development finance and lending organization. Premier Bank’s customers and communities will be served by all three entities to ensure that wherever one is on the economic ladder, they have the tools to succeed.
“For nearly 25 years, Premier Bank’s focus has been on serving and supporting our communities’ financial growth,” said Premier Bank CEO Donny Underwood. “Joining with Southern Bancorp and their mission-focused approach to banking will allow us to greatly expand our services and reach even more families who would benefit from increased access to capital and financial development. Their focus on ‘wealth building for everyone’ is one that can have both a deep and wide impact throughout our markets, and I look forward to joining our proud tradition with theirs.”
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022 and will increase the number of Southern Bancorp locations across Arkansas and Mississippi to 54. Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor and Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP served as legal advisor to Southern Bancorp in connection with the transaction. DD&F Consulting Group served as financial advisor to FCB Financial Services, Inc. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
About Southern Bancorp, Inc. Founded in 1986 by some of the nation’s leading political, business, and philanthropic leaders with an initial investment of $10 million, Southern Bancorp, Inc., along with its development partners – Southern Bancorp Bank and Southern Bancorp Community Partners, has grown into a $2 billion asset organization with 51 locations serving 65,000 customers across two states with a unique array of financial products and services designed to help individuals at all stages of life’s financial journey – from teaching kids how to save to helping entrepreneurs and families realize the American Dream. Southern Bancorp is a certified Community Financial Development Institution, certified B-Corp, and proud member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Learn more at www.BankSouthern.com and www.SouthernPartners.org.
About FCB Financial Services, Inc. and Premier Bank of Arkansas First Community Bank of Eastern Arkansas was founded in 1998 by a group of approximately 170 local investors in Marion, Arkansas with a total initial investment of $3,862,600. After approximately seven years of growth, FCB Financial Services, Inc. was formed to serve as the holding company for the bank. In 2019, First Community Bank of Eastern Arkansas changed its name to Premier Bank of Arkansas and expanded from Crittenden County into Craighead County. Over the last twenty-four years, Premier Bank of Arkansas has built a strong presence in each of its markets and has stayed true to its local values throughout, which has served its communities, shareholders, and stakeholders well.