Simmons completes Metropolitan acquisition

Pine Bluff-based Simmons First National Corp. announced Monday that it has completed an acquisition of Metropolitan National Bank for $53.6 million in cash to Rogers Bancshares Inc.

Simmons’ proposal had been outlined in September.

“We are excited about expanding our 110-year history to communities and customers in both central and northwest Arkansas.” said George A. Makris Jr., SFNC’s chief executive officer-elect. “This merger is a very positive step for our organization and we are confident that it brings long-term benefits to our customers, associates, shareholders and the communities we serve.”

With the deal, SFNC will be entering into such growth markets as Benton and Bryant in Saline County and Maumelle in Pulaski County.

A SFNC news release said all current Simmons First and Metropolitan branches will remain open through March 21. Meanwhile, customers will be notified of any upcoming changes.

SFNC is a seven-bank holding company with community banks in Pine Bluff, El Dorado, Hot Springs, Jonesboro, Lake Village, Russellville and Searcy, and conducts banking operations in Arkansas, Kansas and Missouri.

Metropolitan opened in 1970, serving customers in southwest Little Rock. Pine Bluff native Lunsford W. Bridges — who had been senior vice president and marketing manager at the old National Bank of Commerce in Pine Bluff — joined Metropolitan as its president and CEO in 1985.

Metropolitan eventually expanded into Bentonville, Cabot, Conway, Fayetteville, Rogers, Sherwood and Springdale, as well as Benton, Bryant and Maumelle.