Bank of the Ozarks expands Georgia presence

bank-of-the-ozarks-med-logoBank of the Ozarks, Inc. and Community & Southern Holdings, Inc. announced the signing of a definitive agreement and plan of merger whereby Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. will acquire Community & Southern Holdings, Inc. and its wholly-owned bank subsidiary, Community & Southern Bank, in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $799.6 million.

Community & Southern Holdings, Inc., headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, was established in 2010 and has completed fourteen acquisitions resulting in 47 Georgia banking offices and one Jacksonville, Florida banking office. Most recently, CSB acquired certain CertusBank branches on October 9, 2015. At September 30, 2015, CSB had approximately $4.4 billion of total assets, $3.0 billion of loans and $3.7 billion of deposits.

Pat Frawley, Chief Executive Officer and founder of CSB, will become Bank of the Ozarks’ Chief Executive – Georgia upon completion of the transaction. Frawley is expected to play a major role in the successful integration and future strategic direction of the two banks’ combined 75 offices and operations in Georgia.

George Gleason, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of the Ozarks stated, “We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Community & Southern Bank. This combination is a hand in glove fit. The synergies created by our highly complementary combined network of 75 Georgia banking offices, with virtually no overlap, will give us a powerful presence in Georgia, providing customers with great access and convenience.

The addition of CSB’s Jacksonville, Florida office provides us entry into the favorable Jacksonville market and expands our existing 10-office presence in Florida. Even more important is the depth and expertise of our two extremely talented teams of bankers. Our customers in Georgia and Florida will benefit from our great combined team, our expanded network of banking offices and enhanced services. We are excited about the tremendous growth opportunities.”

This is the fourteenth acquisition for Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. since March 2010 and its largest transaction to date. According to data from SNL Financial, this acquisition, both in total assets and in purchase price, is the largest ever by an Arkansas bank.

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