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Simmons to donate branch to Southern Bancorp

by Lisa Burnett | July 7, 2014 at 12:33 p.m.

Simmons First National Corp. said Monday that it will donate a Eudora Delta Trust & Bank branch to Southern Bancorp Bank.

This transition depends on the closing of Pine Bluff-based Simmons First’s acquisition of Delta Trust & Banking Corp., a $66 million deal announced March 24.

Simmons First said federal regulations that limit acquisitions in places where banks already hold significant market shares would prevent it from operating the Eudora branch after the purchase. Simmons already operates branches in surrounding cities, including two in Lake Village.

Southern Bancorp, a Community Development Financial Institution based in Arkadelphia, focuses on the economic development needs of rural communities at its 45 branches in the Mid-South.

“By donating this branch to Southern Bancorp Bank, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected Community Development Financial Institutions, we’re ensuring that the people of Eudora and the surrounding community will have access to uninterrupted financial services as well as a unique array of development services,” Simmons Chairman and CEO George Makris Jr. said in a statement.

The transaction between Simmons First and Southern Bancorp is expected to close by Oct. 10, Simmons said.

“Southern Bancorp is excited about expanding our unique brand of banking and development services to Eudora and the surrounding community,” Southern Bancorp Inc. CEO Darrin Williams said in the statement. “Our focus is specifically on rural communities just like Eudora, which means we are aware of both the challenges they face and the opportunities that exist. We are ready to help create those opportunities for the people of Chicot County.”

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