By DENNIS SEID / Daily Journal

TUPELO • BancorpSouth Bank is getting closer to becoming a $20 billion bank, announcing Wednesday it was expanding its presence in Texas and Florida.

The Tupelo-based bank said it was acquiring Van Alstyne Financial Corp., the parent company of Texas Star Bank, and Summit Financial Enterprises Inc., the parent company of Summit Bank. The combined deals are valued between $175 million to $193 million.

The two deals mark the fourth merger-and-acquistion agreements BancorpSouth has announced since November. The first was a merger with Merchants Trust Inc., which is based in Jackson, Alabama, and has six full-service branches in Clarke and Mobile counties. The second was a merger with Casey Bancorp and its subsidiary, Grand Bank of Texas. Those two agreements, expected to be completed in the first half of this year, were valued at about $100 million and will add more than $570 million in assets.

In the latest announcements, BancorpSouth is adding eight locations in the Lone Star State. Texas Star, which was founded in 1890 in Van Alstyne, Texas, has seven full-service banking offices in Collin and Grayson counties in Texas, and one loan production office in Durant, Oklahoma.

BancorpSouth’s merger and acquisition of northwest Florida-based Summit Financial Enterprises Inc., will add four locations in Panama City, Panama City Beach, Fort Walton Beach and Pensacola.

The Texas Star merger will expand BancorpSouth’s presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, giving it a total of seven full-service banking locations in the market, as well as additional locations north of Dallas, and a location in Oklahoma.

As of Dec. 31, 2018, Texas Star, had total assets of $378 million, total loans of $317 million and total deposits of $329 million.

Completion of the merger, which has gained approval from both companies’ board of directors, is expected in the second half of this year.

BancorpSouth will have 71 full-service banking offices, five mortgage loan production offices and four insurance offices in Texas with total deposits in Texas of about $3.5 billion and total loans of about $3.9 billion after the Casey and Texas Star mergers.

In the stock-and-cash agreement with Texas Star, BancorpSouth Bank will issue 2.1 million shares of BancorpSouth Bank common stock, plus $20.5 million in cash, for all outstanding shares of Van Alstyne Financial Corp. The value ranges from $80 million to $86.7 million.

“We’re excited to announce our plans to combine with Texas Star Bank,” said Bancorpsouth Chairman and CEO Dan Rollins. “This is a great opportunity for us to expand our presence in the booming Dallas-Fort Worth area. Texas Star is a well-established bank with a strong customer base and deep relationships within its communities.”

BancorpSouth’s merger with Summit will substantially expand BancorpSouth’s presence in Florida, where it currently has one full-service banking office in Miramar Beach, and one mortgage loan production office in Crestview.

As of Dec. 31, Summit reported total assets of $472 million, total loans of $297 million and total deposits of $402 million.

BancorpSouth Bank will issue 2.5 million shares of BancorpSouth Bank common stock, plus $20 million in cash, for all outstanding shares of Summit Financial Enterprises capital stock, with the total deal value ranging from $95 million to $107.5 million.

“The opportunity to expand our presence in these strong and growing markets is exciting,” Rollins said. “We’re looking forward to serving more people along Florida’s Emerald Coast.”

Andy Stein, president and chief executive officer of Summit, will serve as BancorpSouth’s Florida chairman after the merger, which also is expected in the second half of this year.

BancorpSouth has been in active merger-and-acquisition mode since the start of last year. In January, it completed its long-awaited $325 million acquisitions of two financial holding companies, Central Community Corp. and Ouachita Banchares Corp. Central was the parent company of First State Bank Central Texas, and Ouachita was parent of Ouachita Independent Bank. In October, it completed its $152 million merger with Houston, Texas-based Icon Capital Corp. That added $741 million in assets.