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Business First Bancshares (BFST) Agrees to Acquire Smith Shellnut

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In order to further strengthen its investment services, Business First Bancshares, Inc. (BFST - Free Report) , the holding company of b1BANK, has inked a deal to acquire Smith Shellnut Wilson, LLC. Consummation of the deal is likely to occur in the coming weeks.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed yet. As of Dec 31, 2020, b1BANK, through its Wealth Solutions division, managed $235 million assets under management of Smith Shellnut.

Business First Bancshares is likely to consolidate its Wealth Solutions division with Smith Shellnut after the deal’s conclusion, wherein Smith Shellnut will continue operating as a subsidiary of b1BANK.

Jude Melville, president and CEO of b1BANK said, “Bringing SSW under the b1BANK umbrella will allow us to expand the set of products and services we offer through our Financial Institutions Group while also strengthening the investment services we offer to our individual clients.”

Per Frank W. Smith, III, Smith Shellnut Principal “b1BANK and SSW operate with similar values, including a personalized, structured style to portfolio management and innovative methods of product development.” He added, “This merger will provide both SSW and b1BANK teams with more options to customize client services,”

Business First Bancshares has been engaged in many strategic acquisitions for the past few years, which reflects its solid balance-sheet position.

In May 2020, Business First acquired Pedestal Bancshares, Inc. and its wholly-owned bank subsidiary, Pedestal Bank. The company had acquired Richland State and its wholly-owned bank subsidiary, Richland State Bank, in 2018. Business First Bancshares’ expansion initiatives are expected to keep enhancing its profitability and market share.

Over the past six months, shares of the company have appreciated 70.4% compared with 99.1% growth recorded by the industry.

Currently, Business First Bancshares carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Other Recent Acquisitions

In order to strengthen its analytics division, Moody’s (MCO - Free Report) has acquired Cortera.

Further, M&T Bank Corporation (MTB - Free Report) has agreed to acquire People’s United Financial Inc. in an all-stock merger deal worth $7.6 billion, which will likely close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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