BancorpSouth to buy FNS Bancshares in Alabama

BancorpSouth in Tupelo, Miss., has agreed to buy FNS Bancshares in Scottsboro, Ala.

The $24 billion-asset BancorpSouth said in a press release Wednesday that it will pay $108.4 million in cash and stock for the $787 million-asset parent of FNB Bank. The deal, which is expected to close in the first half of this year, priced FNS Bancshares at 154% of its tangible book value.

FNS Bancshares, founded in 1900, has 17 branches in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. It has $493 million of loans and $665.9 million of deposits.

“We are excited about this partnership and look forward to welcoming FNS’s teammates and customers to BancorpSouth,” Dan Rollins, BancorpSouth’s chairman and CEO, said in the release. “FNS is a 120-year-old institution with deep ties in its local markets and is an ideal fit with our culture as a relationship-driven community bank.”

Steve Rownd, CEO of FNS Bancshares, will join BancorpSouth as a division president.

The deal is expected to be accretive to BancorpSouth’s earnings per share in the first full year of operations. BancorpSouth said it plans to cut about 30% of FNS Bancshares’ annual noninterest expenses.

BancorpSouth said it should take about two years to earn back the deal’s expected 0.5% dilution to its tangible book value.

FNS was advised by Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Fenimore, Kay, Harrison & Ford, while Janney Montgomery Scott rendered a fairness opinion. BancorpSouth was advised by Alston & Bird and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis.

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