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Home BancShares, Inc. And Liberty Bancshares, Inc. Announce Business Combination

Stocks in this article: HOMB

CONWAY, Ark., June 25, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Home BancShares, Inc. (Nasdaq:HOMB) ("Home" or "the Company"), parent company of Centennial Bank, and Liberty Bancshares, Inc. ("Liberty"), parent company of Liberty Bank of Arkansas, today announced the signing of a definitive agreement for Liberty to merge into Home. Under the terms of the agreement, shareholders of Liberty will receive $250 million of Home common stock plus $30 million in cash.

Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will have approximately $7.1 billion in total assets, $5.6 billion in deposits, $4.5 billion in loans, 151 branches, 186 ATMs, and 1,500 employees across Arkansas, Florida and Southern Alabama. The merger will significantly increase the Company's deposit market share in Arkansas making it the 2 nd largest bank holding company headquartered in Arkansas.

"It's exciting to be a part of the largest in-state banking transaction in the history of Arkansas. This combination will double the number of Arkansas branches for Centennial Bank from 46 to 92 locations. Centennial's strength is in Central and North Central Arkansas, while Liberty's presence is in Northeast, Northwest, and Western Arkansas. The association of Liberty with Centennial is the perfect fit to provide more convenient locations to our Arkansas customers," said Randy Sims, Home's Chief Executive Officer.

The acquisition is expected to close late in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter of 2013 and is subject to Home and Liberty shareholder approval, regulatory approval, and other conditions set forth in the merger agreement. Pursuant to the terms of the merger agreement, Liberty Bank will merge with and into Centennial Bank immediately after the merger of Liberty with and into Home. Subject to the receipt of requisite approvals, Home expects to repurchase all of Liberty's Small Business Lending Fund preferred stock held by the U.S. Treasury shortly after the closing.

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