State Bank, La. firm plan $750M merger

Published 6:00 am Friday, November 19, 2004

In a move that will expand its base into Louisiana, State Bank& Trust Co. announced today a merger with a Baton Rouge banksystem that will create a $750 million bank with offices fromMemphis to Baton Rouge.

Stewart M. Brumfield, chairman of State Capital Corporation ofMississippi, made the announcement that the board of directors ofState Capital Corp. and the board of directors of First Bancsharesof Baton Rouge, Inc. have executed and approve mergeragreements.

John B. Neville, president of State Capital Corp. and CEO ofState Bank & Trust Co., stated “this is a great day for bothfinancial institutions and will allow First Bank to expand itsmarket from Baton Rouge eastward to Slidell, Louisiana, coveringthe rapidly growing Northshore area and become a part of our bankextending northward the entire length of Mississippi. We areextremely excited to become an integral part of the dynamic marketin southeast Louisiana”.

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Neville further said First Bancshares of Baton Rouge, Inc.,parent corporation of First Bank, presently operates four banklocations in Louisiana: two in the greater Baton Rouge area, athird in Eunice and a loan production office in New Roads soon tobe converted to a full-service bank. State Capital Corp., parentcorporation of State Bank & Trust Co., operates 22 banks inMississippi, serving markets from Memphis, Tenn., to McComb and anew commercial loan production office in Covington, La., which willbe converted to a full-service bank in the near future, Nevillesaid.

H. Owen Carty, president of State Bank & Trust Co. announcedthere would be no foreseeable changes in personnel. Carty furtherstated, “The merger will greatly enhance stockholder value, providenew bank services for our customers and significantly increase thecommercial lending capacity of First Bank”.

State Bank was founded in Brookhaven in 1936 and merged withValley Bank of Greenwood in 2000, keeping the State Bank name.State Bank is currently the fifth-largest asset value bank inMississippi and will be the sixth-largest in Louisiana followingthe merger. The combined assets of the new bank will be $750million.

Neville reiterated that the philosophy of both banks isremarkably the same, not to mention the similarity of the banks’names and their respective mission statements.

“We more closely parallel each other than any two banks I haveever seen” Neville said.

The merger is contingent upon both federal and state regulatoryapproval.