Magazine article American Banker

Back in M&A Market: Prosperity of Texas

Magazine article American Banker

Back in M&A Market: Prosperity of Texas

Article excerpt

Byline: Jackie Stewart

Break time is just about over for serial acquirer Prosperity Bancshares.

The $21.7 billion-asset company, which has bought eight banks since 2012, took a self-imposed hiatus to make sure it was comfortable with its integrations and to ensure it didn't fall into the trap of doing too many deals. Its last acquisition was the purchase of the $2.4 billion-asset F&M Bank & Trust in April 2014.

But that ended when the Houston lender started looking for a new deal three or four months ago, Chief Executive and Chairman David Zalman revealed during a call Friday with analysts to discuss second-quarter results.

When asked by an analyst during the call if there was anything, like a divide over pricing or regulatory concerns, preventing Prosperity from announcing something, Zalman's reply was simply: "Stay tuned."

The only thing delaying an announcement is the time required to put a deal together, which under the best circumstances takes a minimum of three months, he said.

"You are talking about romancing and kissing and all of that stuff and that takes a while," he said. "Then you start your due diligence and that takes a while. Then you have to talk about the loans. After the loans everybody talks about the contracts that they want."

Prosperity is looking to increase its assets by 10% a year through M&A, Zalman said. Its preference is to find a deal in Oklahoma and Texas where it is already located. But it currently operates roughly 10 miles from the Louisiana border -- about the same distance it was from Oklahoma before it entered that state in 2013 with the purchase of Coppermark Bank -- so it would also consider the Pelican State, Zalman said.

Rather than being a deterrent, the downturn in the energy sector could present some opportunities for Prosperity, management said. …

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