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BancorpSouth delays acquisitions yet again; Renasant completes Heritage takeover

Regulatory snags have once again delayed Tupelo’s BancorpSouth Inc. acquisitions of Ouachita Bancshares Corp. of Monrore, La.,  and Central Community Corp. of Temple, Tex.
Meanwhile, Tupelo’s Renasant Bank has completed its takeover of  Heritage Financial Group Inc., a bank holding company headquartered in Albany, Ga. and the parent of the $1.9 billion HeritageBank of the South, a Georgia savings bank. The deal gives the $7.5 billion Renasant a presence in South Georgia and coastal Georgia to add to its 171 banking, mortgage, wealth management, investment and insurance offices throughout Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
The $13.7 billion BancorpSouth was to have closed its acquisitions of Ouachita Bancshares Corp. and Central Community Corp. by the end of the second quarter of 2014. The Ouachita deal included stock and $22.9 million to shareholders of the Monroe banking company. The Central Community acquisition included stock and $28.5 million in cash to the Temple bank
BancorpSouth gave no reason for the new delays in closing the deals. But in announcing the initial delay in July 2014, BancorpSouth said it had learned that federal bank regulators have identified concerns during the course of routine supervisory activities regarding BancorpSouth’s procedures, systems and processes related to some of its compliance programs, including its Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering programs.
It refilled its merger applications with the Louisiana and Texas banks earlier this year and received a six-month extension to close the deals.


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