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Bank of the Ozarks' Acquisitions Get Two Regulatory Nods

Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. OZRK announced the receipt of regulatory approvals from both the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) and the Arkansas State Bank Department for the previously announced merger transactions with Community & Southern Holdings, Inc. (“CSB”) as well as C1 Financial, Inc. BNK.

Bank of the Ozarks expects to receive approvals from the Federal Reserve Bank as well for the said deals by the end of the second quarter of 2016, subsequent to which, the company will announce the closing dates for both transactions.

Details of the C1 Financial Deal

The agreement to buy St. Petersburg, FL-based C1 Financial was announced by Bank of the Ozarks in Nov 2015. The all-stock deal, which marked the Bank of the Ozarks’ fifteenth acquisition since Mar 2010, was valued at roughly $402.5 million or $25 per C1 Financial share.

Upon closure of the deal, Trevor Burgess, President and Chief Executive Officer of C1 Financial, will serve as the Chief Innovation Officer of Bank of the Ozarks as well as President of its Florida operations.

Moreover, upon closing, the deal is projected to be immediately accretive to Bank of the Ozarks’ book value per common share and its tangible book value per common share. Further, the transaction is expected to be accretive to Bank of the Ozarks’ earnings per share (including transaction cost) in a range of 2–4 cents and 7–10 cents for the first year and second year after completion, respectively.

With C1 Financial operating 32 full-service branches in Florida, the deal will help Bank of the Ozarks strengthen its presence in the region. The latter will now own 10 offices in the state.

Details of the CSB Deal

In Oct 2015, Bank of the Ozarks announced an all-stock transaction to acquire CSB valued at around $799.6 million or roughly $20.50 per CSB share.

Upon the closing of the transaction, CSB will merge into Bank of the Ozarks. Pat Frawley, Chief Executive Officer and founder of CSB, will become Bank of the Ozarks’ Chief Executive of its Georgia operations. 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.

The deal, which marked Bank of the Ozarks’ fourteenth and largest acquisition since Mar 2010, is expected to be immediately accretive to the company’s book value per common share and its tangible book value per common share.

Moreover, the transaction is expected to be accretive to the company’s diluted earnings per common share for the first twelve months after the transaction closes and thereafter.

Our Take

Over the years, Bank of the Ozarks has shown a strong appetite for inorganic growth. Notably, since 2010, the company has completed 13 transactions, including 7 FDIC-assisted deals. While all these deals have proved to be beneficial over the years, both the current deals will further boost the company’s profitability.

Given its strong balance sheet position, Bank of the Ozarks is expected to focus on mergers and acquisitions across the country, in places where it does not have offices at present. So, we believe the company will continue with more such opportunistic transactions.

Currently, Bank of the Ozarks carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked southeast banks include First Bancorp FBP and Monarch Financial Holdings, Inc. MNRK, both of which sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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MONARCH FINANCL (MNRK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
BANK OZARKS (OZRK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
FIRST BNCRP P R (FBP): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
C1 FINANCIAL (BNK): Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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