Shareholders approve Renasant-First M&F merger

TUPELO and KOSCIUSKO — The purchase of First M&F Corp. by fellow Mississippi bank Renasant Corp. is going forward.

Shareholders of both banks approved the merger today. Shareholders of First M&F, based in Kosciusko, will own about 20 percent of the merged bank.

Tupelo-based Renasant will pay $143 million in stock to First M&F shareholders. Renasant will repay $30 million in federal bailout funds First M&F received.

The merger will create the fourth-largest bank in Mississippi, with $5.8 billion in assets. Renasant plans to increase profits by cutting 25 percent of M&F’s expenses.

The bank will have 76 bank offices in Mississippi, 14 in Alabama, 15 in Tennessee and 12 in Georgia. In an April stock filing, Renasant says it plans to close nine offices of the combined bank, eight in Mississippi.

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