Simmons First submits successful bid for Metropolitan Bank


LITTLE ROCK — Pine Bluff-based Simmons First National Corp. said Monday it won a bidding war for Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock at a bankruptcy auction.

Simmons First was among three companies that entered bids for Metropolitan. The Pine Bluff bank said it outbid Bentonville-based Arvest Bank and Ford Financial Fund II, a venture capital fund backed by billionaire Dallas banker Gerald J. Ford. The bid is subject to the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court at a hearing scheduled Thursday in the bankruptcy proceeding of Metropolitan’s parent bank holding company, Rogers Bancshares, Inc.,

Simmons did not provide a dollar figure on its bid. A spokesman for Metropolitan said the bank had no immediate comment.

Metropolitan officials announced in July that the bank would be acquired by Ford Financial Fund II. The Dallas firm said at the time it intended to purchase all of Metropolitan National Bank’s stock for $16 million and recapitalize the bank.

However, on Sept. 5, Simmons First disclosed its $16.9 million bid on the bank. Arvest’s bid, which did not provide a dollar amount for the offer, appeared in the legal notices section of the statewide newspaper.

Simmons First said Monday it would release more detailed information following the hearing Thursday.