The Bank Slate


Business First to enter Houston with bank acquisition

Business First Bancshares in Baton Rouge, La., has agreed to buy Texas Citizens Bancorp in Houston.

The $4.4 billion-asset Business First said in a press release Thursday that it will pay $52.9 million in stock for the $517 million-asset parent of Texas Citizens Bank. The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter, priced Texas Citizens at 151% of its tangible book value.

Texas Citizens has six branches, $366 million of loans and $452 million of deposits.

“We have experienced success diversifying our geographic exposure over the past few years,” Jude Melville, Business First’s president and CEO, said in the release. “This partnership … is an opportunity for us to accelerate our transition into a regional institution.”

Business First said it expects the deal to be more than 15% accretive in 2023. It should take the company three years to earn back an estimated 5% dilution to its tangible book value.

Business First plans to cut about $9.2 million of Texas Citizens’ annual noninterest expenses. The company plans to incur $12.1 million of merger-related expenses.

Duncan Stewart, Texas Citizens’ chairman and CEO, will become chairman of the Houston region for Business First’s bank Mike Cornett, Texas Citizens’ president, will become vice chairman of the Houston region.

Business First said Don Hingle, its director of market expansion, will move to Houston as its regional president.

Texas Citizens had a 2019 enforcement action lifted earlier this month.

Stephens and Fenimore Kay Harrison advised Business First. Piper Sandler and Bracewell advised Texas Citizens.

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