Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Norman Bank Owner Expands into Texas with First City Deal

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Norman Bank Owner Expands into Texas with First City Deal

Article excerpt

Special to The Journal Record

LITTLE ROCK _ An Arkansas bank holding company that owns a half interest in a Norman bank will extend its strategic plan with its purchase of two of the failed First City Bancorp. banks, said Barnett Grace, First Commercial chairman and chief executive officer.

First Commercial Corp., of Little Rock will buy New First City, Texas, Tyler NA and New First City, Texas, Lufkin NA from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Both banks are located in east Texas in the Dallas-Houston corridor.

First Commercial's "entry into Texas is consistent with our strategic plan to maintain FCC's position among the nation's best performing regional community banking organizations while extending our franchise, where appropriate, from our base in Arkansas to states contiguous to our home state _ Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas," he said Wednesday. "The acquisitions are also consistent with our strategy of negotiating transactions which avoid permanent earnings per share or book value dilution."

First Commercial owns 50 percent of Security National Bank Trust Co. of Norman, which it bought when the bank failed in 1987. Arvest Bank Group of Bentonville, Ark., owns the other half.

First Commercial also owns another nine banks in Arkansas and Tennessee. The purchase of the Texas banks would give it assets of more than $3 billion.

The agreement with the FDIC calls for the holding company to purchase some assets and assume some liabilities of the Texas banks. The premiums it will pay are to be announced when the transactions are consummated, an event expected in mid-February.

The names of the acquired banks will revert to the names they used before they were purchased by First City Bancorp.: Tyler Citizens First National Bank and Lufkin National Bank.

The Lufkin bank is the largest in its community, with about $146 million in assets. The Tyler bank is the second largest in its market, with about $243 million in assets. …

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