MidSouth Bank is jumping on a bank bankruptcy in Texas that is allowing the local financial institution to buy five branches of Jefferson Bank in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

According to a press release, First Bank and Trust will acquire Jefferson Bank’s holding through a bankruptcy court sale, and Lafayette-based MidSouth will buy the five branches from First Bank.
“It’s a bank that was in trouble up in Dallas, and we’re buying the branches with the healthy deposits and loans,” says MidSouth President and CEO Rusty Cloutier. “This is a huge market for us; we’re very excited. Dallas is one of the fastest growing cities in America. You put that with our Houston operation and it gives us a very strong footprint in Texas.”

Because the acquisition is going through bankruptcy court, the deal is subject to numerous regulatory approvals that MidSouth expects to be completed before the end of July.

MidSouth Bancorp, holding company of MidSouth Bank, had $1 billion in assets as of the end of last year. MidSouth Bank has 34 locations in Louisiana and southeast Texas and 48 ATMs.

A Sunday report from The Times-Picayune paints an overall healthy picture for Louisiana banks, noting that 36 lenders, or 22.9 percent, have a B+ rating or higher. Nationally, only 11.7 percent of banks received the same grade. Although most of the state’s banks are strong, the article points out that roughly 12 banks in the state, including First Bank and Trust, are not making the grade.

First Bank, which has a branch in River Ranch in Lafayette, has an E rating, or “very weak,” according to The T-P.

Read more on the stability of Louisiana’s banks here.

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