Iberiabank to acquire Louisiana's Omni Bancshares

AP News
Posted: Feb 22, 2011 2:05 PM
Iberiabank to acquire Louisiana's Omni Bancshares

Iberiabank Corp. announced Tuesday that it would acquire Omni Bancshares Inc. in a deal worth about $40 million, marking the latest foray by a major regional banking company into southeastern Louisiana.

Metairie-based Omni Bancshares has 14 offices in and around New Orleans and Baton Rouge and operates under the Omnibank logo. Iberiabank, based in Lafayette, has 145 offices in Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee, Alabama, Texas and Florida.

The buyout, which is expected to close in the second quarter, has been approved by the boards of both companies, Iberiabank said. Omni shareholders will receive about a third of a share of Iberiabank common stock for each share of Omni stock. Iberiabank also said it would assume about $24 million of Omni trust preferred and holding company debt.

Omni chief executive James Hudson has been tabbed as chairman of the southeastern Louisiana region for Iberiabank.

Iberiabank has about $10 billion in assets and Omnibank, about $735 million in assets.

Iberiabank has been expanding rapidly after the economic slowdown, taking over three failed banks in Florida and one in Alabama with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. agreeing to share in any resulting loan losses.

But banking analysts have said recently that direct acquisitions probably will become the rule in bank consolidations as the FDIC tightens its purse strings following 179 bank closures since the first of 2010.

Also Tuesday, Iberiabank said it had agreed to purchase a trust and asset management service, Florida Trust Co., from the Bank of Florida Corp. Iberiabank will initially pay $700,000 for Florida Trust, which will become part of Iberia Wealth Advisors. Florida Trust currently manages about $460 million in assets from offices in Naples and Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Iberiabank could receive up to $700,000 more based upon revenue from former Florida Trust clients during the first year, Iberiabank said.

Iberiabank's move into southeastern Louisiana is the second by a major banking group in the region in two months.

In December, Gulfport, Miss.-based Hancock Holding Co. announced a $1.5 billion deal to acquire New Orleans-based Whitney Holding Corp., which would create a Gulf Coast banking company with about $20 billion in total assets, $16 billion in deposits and $12 billion in loans.