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Forest bank set to acquire Walnut Grove bank

MBJ staff

The board of directors of the Bank of Walnut Grove has agreed for the bank to be acquired by the Bank of Forest in a merger whereby the existing shares of Bank of Walnut Grove will be purchased for cash.

The transaction is expected to be completed during the second quarter, pending regulatory and Bank of Walnut Grove shareholder approval, according to a news release.

Bank of Forest will manage assets approaching $220 million. Bank of Forest will expand to include Walnut Grove in addition to its main office in Forest and an office in Flowood.

The Bank of Forest was founded in 1900 and the Bank of Walnut Grove was established in 1923.  The board of directors of the Bank of Forest and its sole shareholder, First Forest Corp., approved the acquisition on Feb. 15.

Carl Ware, senior vice president of Bank of Walnut Grove, said that “the errors of Wall Street banks trickled down to affect the viability of independent banks in communities across America. As a result, federal regulatory pressures have increased to the point that many independent banks have had to spend an inordinate amount of time on these issues, which takes us away from our core business. To join with Bank of Forest benefits both of our banks in this regard.”

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