March 3, 2008
Metropolitan BancGroup announces consummation of Bancsouth Financial and Tennessee bank charter acquisitions
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE, March 3, 2008 – Metropolitan BancGroup, Inc. ("Metropolitan"), a multi-state bank holding company, announced today that it has concluded its acquisition of Bancsouth Financial Corporation and its subsidiary, Bank of the South previously headquartered in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, and has also completed its acquisition of a Tennessee state bank charter.
The acquisitions were closed on February 28th and February 29th, respectively. With the transactions, Metropolitan has the ability to operate full-service offices in Tennessee and Mississippi. Both transactions had been previously announced and were completed after receiving regulatory approvals. As of the completion of the acquisitions, Metropolitan BancGroup has total assets and capital of approximately $125 million and $45 million, respectively. With the addition of Bank of the South's 25 associates, Metropolitan will begin operation with a combined associate roster of 42. Curt Gabardi, president and chief executive officer of Metropolitan, said of the transactions, "This is an exciting time for our shareholders, clients and associates as it affirms our strategy of creating a dynamic, full-service commercial and private bank comprised of the most talented and experienced bankers in our markets.
Our Tennessee and Mississippi strategy is a story about great bankers operating in a nimble and client-centric environment. We believe this will be our competitive advantage. We are quite gratified by the support we've received and the confirmation that this is the right strategy at the right time for a talented group of bankers to pursue a niche commercial banking strategy." Metropolitan is a bank built on a belief in the concept of one-on-one delivery of banking services, where each client's needs are the nexus of decision-making. As financial services are increasingly commoditized, only by allowing the most talented banking professionals to craft individual service solutions can the client's banking experience be optimized. To this end Metropolitan has gathered a team of seasoned professionals we believe is unlike any other in our markets including some of the best known names in commercial banking in both metropolitan Memphis and metropolitan Jackson.
Gabardi further commented on Metropolitan's talent-centered banking model, saying that, "our investment is in people, and that's the foundation of Metropolitan and the very reason why the overall response from our core constituency has been so positive." Metropolitan will begin full-service operations in Mississippi and Tennessee in March 2008. In Memphis, the bank currently maintains a temporary location at Clark Tower 5100 Poplar Avenue, Suite 2414 while its permanent office and Tennessee headquarters is being constructed at 1661 Aaron Brenner Drive in East Memphis near Poplar and Kirby. Metropolitan expects to occupy its new Memphis office in May of this year. In Mississippi, in addition to an existing Bank of the South office in Flowood located at 3500 Lakeland Drive, which will be re-branded Metropolitan, the company plans to open its Mississippi headquarters at 201 Northlake Drive in Ridgeland in April. The company will operate primarily in the central Mississippi and Memphis, Tennessee markets. Bank of the South, which will serve as the community banking group for Metropolitan, will continue to operate under that name in Copiah County, specifically in Crystal Springs and Hazlehurst, Mississippi.