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BancorpSouth to acquire Ouachita Bancshares

Tupelo, Miss.-based BancorpSouth is buying Ouachita Bancshares, a small regional bank with based in Monroe, La., and holding assets of $652.5 million.

BancorpSouth, which has more than $12.9 billion in assets, is acquiring the bank in a cash and stock deal with a top value of $112 million. Ouachita has Louisiana bank offices and branches in the Monroe-West Monroe area, Shreveport-Bossier City area and in Bastrop.

"We are very pleased to announce the first bank transaction for our Company since 2007," Dan Rollins, CEO of BancorpSouth, said in a statement. "We are excited about the opportunity to partner with the professionals at OIB. This transaction will give us the opportunity to significantly enhance our market share in both the Monroe-West Monroe and Shreveport-Bossier City markets. It will also provide an opportunity to enter the Bastrop market, a market which we've not previously served."

Clyde White, who recently retired from active day-to-day management of OIB, will continue to serve as chairman of the Board of OIB until the merger is completed. Kevin Koh will continue to serve as OIB's CEO until the merger is completed. After that date, he will become BancorpSouth's Division President with responsibility for Northeast Louisiana markets including Monroe-West Monroe.

Lee Copeland, BancorpSouth's Division President for North Louisiana will continue to serve as Division President for BancorpSouth's Northwest Louisiana markets including Shreveport.

The merger has been unanimously approved by the Boards of both companies and is expected to close during the second quarter of 2014. The transaction is subject to the approval by OIB's shareholders and typical state and federal agencies.

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BancorpSouth Bank operates 292 commercial banking, mortgage, insurance, trust and broker/dealer locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, including an insurance location in Illinois.

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