Home » NEWS » Banking & Finance » Still in acquisition mode, Cadence set to buy Houston’s Encore Bancshares Inc.

Still in acquisition mode, Cadence set to buy Houston’s Encore Bancshares Inc.

Birmingham’s Cadence Bancorp, formerly headquartered in Starkville, has signed a definitive agreement to buy Houston-based Encore Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBTX) in an all-cash transaction of $20.62 per share.

Under the deal, Cadence would pay approximately $250 million for the approximately 12.1 million outstanding shares of Encore, a $1.6 billion banking company with 12 locations in the Houston region.

“When we looked at potential partners in Houston, Encore Bancshares stood out,” said Paul B. Murphy Jr., CEO of Cadence Bancorp. “Encore is a solid franchise with a strategically located branch network, experienced bankers and an enviable customer base. This transaction expands the Cadence footprint and is a strong complement to the southeastern part of the franchise. “

Mark Abernathy, president & CAO of Cadence Bank, said a key consideration in the decision was the types of business synergies that could be developed through this affiliation and “how they could positively impact our customers here in Starkville.”

Added Abernathy: “Many of our customers have ties to Texas, and this gives them additional resources and a strong knowledge base. Additionally, the anticipated growth will provide more capital to enable an even more rapid expansion in the Southeastern states where our core business is located.”

As of Dec. 31, Encore Bancshares reported total assets of $1.6 billion, total loans of $1 billion, and total deposits of $1.1 billion.

Cadence has more than 100 banking locations in five Southeastern states — Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee — and Texas. The company moved its headquarters to Birmingham after its acquisition by what was then Community Bancorp. Much of the banking company’s accounting and other back office operations remain in Starkville, however.

As of Dec. 31, Cadence reported total assets of $3.9 billion, total loans of $2.3 billion and total deposits of $3.1 billion. Encore will become part of privately held Cadence Bancorp.

The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies and is expected to close during the second half of 2012.


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