Bank of the Ozarks Headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas
Bank of the Ozarks is a bank headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas with more than 255 locations in Arkansas, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Florida, California and New York and $18.45 billion in assets as of June 30, 2016. Early in 2014, it was the third-largest bank in Arkansas.
Bank of the Ozarks began with a community bank in Jasper, Arkansas in 1903, expanding to a second location in Ozark, Arkansas in 1937.
George Gleason, a lawyer specializing in banking at the Rose Law Firm, bought Bank of Ozark in 1979 when it had $28 million in assets and changed its name to Bank of the Ozarks. In 1994 the bank had five locations but began expanding. The headquarters moved to Little Rock in 1995.
In 2004, Bank of the Ozarks was the state's second-largest bank with 41 locations, with plans to double that number within the state, and to add full-service branches in Texas and North Carolina, where loan offices had already opened. In Texas, Bank of the Ozarks was paying $2.2 million for an excess charter after the purchase of Sun Bank by Happy Bancshares Inc. of Happy, Texas. In addition to $2 million in deposits, the charter would allow the bank to open new branches in the Dallas area.
In December 2008, Bank of the Ozarks moved into a 112,000-square-foot 4-story headquarters, designed by Reese Rowland of Polk Stanley Rowland Curzon Porter Architects on Chenal Parkway near Rahling Road. For five years the bank had rented space in the GMAC Building and Three Financial Center.
30 years after Gleason took over, his bank had $3.2 billion in assets and 72 locations, 65 in Arkansas, 6 in Texas and one in North Carolina, and 740 employees. Only four of the branches were purchases.
In 2010, Bank of the Ozarks bought four failed banks, two of those in Georgia. Unity National Bank of Cartersville with $290 million in assets was the bank's first purchase in Georgia. Bank of the Ozarks also bought Chestatee State Bank of Dawsonville, Georgia; Horizon Bank of Bradenton, Florida; and Woodlands Bank in Bluffton, South Carolina, which had a Savannah, Georgia branch. Randy Dennis of DD&F Consulting Group called Gleason "shrewd" and "cautious" in his strategy of acquiring failed banks.
In 2011, Bank of the Ozarks acquired three more failed Georgia banks: Oglethorpe Bank of Brunswick with $210 million in assets; First Choice Community Bank of Dallas; and Park Avenue Bank of Valdosta.
In 2012, SNL Financial named Bank of the Ozarks the best performing regional bank.
In January 2013 Bank of the Ozarks agreed to pay $64 million for First National Bank of Shelby in Shelby, North Carolina, which dated to 1874. Bank of the Ozarks would be "the dominant bank" in Cleveland County, North Carolina. This deal, plus the bank's first full-service branch on Park Road in Charlotte, would give Bank of the Ozarks 15 locations and $700 million in deposits in North Carolina. By August 2014, the bank also had offices in Cornelius and Belmont.
On December 9, 2013, Bank of the Ozarks announced the $23 million acquisition of Bancshares Inc. of Houston, with $301 million in assets, $269 million in deposits and eight branches of Omnibank N.A., three in Houston, one in San Antonio and four in the Austin area.
On January 30, 2014, Bank of the Ozarks announced a $216 million merger with Summit Bancorp of Arkadelphia, the state's sixth largest bank with $1.2 billion in assets and 24 locations. This was the bank's largest merger yet.
Also in 2014, Bank of the Ozarks announced a $228.5 million deal to acquire Intervest Bancshares Corp. of Pinellas County, Florida, with seven offices, six in Florida, $1.6 billion in assets and $1.3 billion in deposits. Bank of the Ozarks had four Florida locations, in Manatee County.
On May 6, 2015, a $64.7 million deal was announced with Bank of the Carolinas of Mocksville, North Carolina. The deal would give Bank of the Ozarks 24 locations in North Carolina, up from 16, and its first presence in the Piedmont Triad. The bank's North Carolina deposits would increase from $596.2 million to $963.7 million, making it the state's 19th largest bank. Total branches would increase to 171.
On October 19, 2015, Bank of the Ozarks announced an agreement to acquire Community & Southern Bank, in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $799.6 million. This acquisition, both in total assets and in purchase price, is the largest ever by an Arkansas bank.
On November 9, 2015, a $402.5 million deal was announced with C1 Bank of St. Petersburg, Florida. Upon the closing of the transaction, C1 will merge into Bank of the Ozarks. Completion of the transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including customary regulatory approvals and approval by C1 shareholders. The transaction is expected to close late in the first quarter of 2016 or early in the second quarter of 2016. This transaction will be Bank of the Ozark's fifteenth acquisition since March, 2010 and upon completion will make Bank of the Ozarks the largest bank in Arkansas.
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