Southern Bancorp Inc. is set to acquire DeWitt First Bankshares Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary Arkansas County Bank as part of a merger agreement.
Founded in 1912, Arkansas County Bank services Arkansas, Prairie, Lonoke, Sevier, Little River, and Howard counties, as well as McCurtain County in Oklahoma. Arkansas County Bank has $185 million in assets and operates three branches – two in Arkansas County in DeWitt and Stuttgart and one in Sevier County in Lockesburg. These branches will boost Southern Bancorp’s location numbers to 52.
Terms for the merger have not been disclosed. The transaction is projected to close in the second quarter of 2021.
“We are excited to introduce Arkansas County Bank’s team members, customers, and communities to Southern Bancorp’s unique blend of mission-driven products and services aimed at providing everyone in the community with the tools to build wealth,” ] Southern Bancorp CEO Darrin Williams said in a statement. “As one of America’s oldest and largest CDFIs, we are driven by our mission to increase economic opportunity and build individual net worth through traditional banking products and services combined with financial development offerings such as financial education, credit and homebuyer counseling, and free tax preparation among others.”
Southern Bancorp. Inc., a Community Development Financial Institution (CFDI), serves as the holding company for Southern Bancorp Bank, a $1.7 billion asset community development bank, as well as Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a 501(c)(3) development finance entity.
Arkansas County Bank customers will be served by all facets of the Southern Bancorp Inc. organization. “We are excited to join the Southern Bancorp family. For over 110 years, our bank has believed in a community-centric approach to banking, and Southern Bancorp’s nationally recognized focus on offering a wide range of unique tools to serve the community is a perfect fit for our organization and those we serve. We look forward to joining in their mission,” Arkansas County Bank president and CEO Warren Jennings, Jr. said.
Stephens Inc. and Friday, Eldredge & Clark LLP served as financial advisor and legal advisor, respectively, to Southern Bancorp Inc. Dewitt First Bankshares Corporation enlisted Olsen Palmer LLC and Dover Dixon Horne, PLLC as financial and legal advisor, respectively.