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BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc. To Acquire Assets Of Houston, Texas Based GEM Insurance Agencies, LP

Stocks in this article: BXS

TUPELO, Miss., Dec. 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BancorpSouth, Inc. (NYSE: BXS) announced today that BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc. ("BXSI"), a subsidiary of BancorpSouth Bank, headquartered in Tupelo, Mississippi, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Houston, Texas based GEM Insurance Agencies, LP ("GEM").  The transaction is expected to close before year end.  Financial terms of the pending transaction were not disclosed.

"The GEM acquisition gives us an opportunity to enhance our presence significantly and expand our platform in a high-growth market," commented Dan Rollins, CEO of BancorpSouth. "GEM's growth strategy, operating structure, and customer-based focus are similar to our operations in Houston and across our footprint. We are extremely excited to welcome the GEM team to the BancorpSouth family."

GEM was formed in 1954 and its annual revenues have grown to approximately $9 million. GEM's customer base consists of a diverse segment of property/casualty risks with specialties in commercial real estate, manufacturing, distribution, and service companies with an emphasis on complex products liability/professional liability exposures, upstream and mid-stream oil and gas operations, staffing, and not-for-profit and healthcare organizations. GEM also has a large executive personal lines operation.  As a part of the transaction, BXSI's existing Houston office will re-locate into GEM's current office located at 3355 West Alabama Street in Houston.  The combined operations are expected to produce annual revenues of approximately $11 million and will operate under the leadership of Ed Schreiber, the current President of GEM.

Markham McKnight, President of BXSI, added, "GEM is a great fit for our brokerage business.  Their core property/casualty business complements our current specialties while giving us the opportunity to significantly increase our health insurance and voluntary employee benefit offerings.  We believe this relationship will benefit the professionals of both agencies as well as current and prospective clients."

Schreiber commented, "We expect our new relationship with BancorpSouth will give us the ability to expand our product offerings and capabilities with our current client base as well as the tools that we need to continue to win new business.  We have the utmost respect for Dan and Markham and their team.  We have known certain executives at BXSI for ten years and their style, culture, and encouragement to continue doing the things that have made us successful were the primary drivers in our decision to join the BancorpSouth team."

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