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Prosperity Closes Another Merger

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In furtherance of its efforts to expand in the state of Okla., Prosperity Bancshares Inc. (PB - Free Report) completed the merger deal with Coppermark Bancshares, Inc. and the latter’s fully-owned subsidiary, Coppermark Bank, announced in Dec 2012. Under the terms of the deal, Coppermark Bank was integrated with Prosperity Bank in Oklahoma City, Okla., effective Apr 1, 2013.

According to the agreement, Prosperity issued 3,258,845 shares of its common stock and paid $60.0 million in cash for Coppermark’s outstanding capital stock.

Following the completion of the merger, Russell E. Swarts, the present Chairman of Coppermark will now serve as the Senior Chairman of the combined entity in the Central Oklahoma Region. Thomas Legan, the current President of Coppermark, will be the Chairman of the office at Central Oklahoma Region and will be accountable for the daily operations and management of all Oklahoma branches.

Moreover, Jacque Fiegel, the Chief Operating Officer at Coppermark, will become the President of Central Oklahoma Region and will be in-charge of retail and business banking operations of all Oklahoma branches. In addition, he will be accountable for certain other operational issues pertaining to the combined organization.

Further, lending in Okla. will be looked after by Jeff Russell, Coppermark's President of the Oklahoma Market and Chief Credit Officer who will take up the mantel of the President at Central Oklahoma Region.

Management at Prosperity has expressed its enthusiasm in being associated with Coppermark, a successful company with values driven by efficient customer service. Coppermark, on its part, was delighted to join a strong banking institution like Prosperity. The latter hopes to combine its steady track record to help Prosperity expand its foothold in the Okla. region.

Prosperity has been aggressively growing inorganically over the past one year. In Oct 2012, it acquired Community National Bank in a cash-and-stock deal. In July, it purchased American State Financial Corporation in a cash-and-stock deal. Previously, in April, it completed the acquisition of The Bank Arlington in a stock deal. Similarly, in Jan 2012, it acquired Texas Bankers, Inc.

Most recently in Jan 2013, the company declared the closure of its merger with East Texas Financial Services Inc. and its fully-owned subsidiary First Federal Bank Texas. Under the terms of the agreement, East Texas Financial merged with Prosperity whereas the subsidiary was merged with Prosperity Bank from Jan 1, 2013.

Amid the sluggish economic recovery and uncertain regulatory environment, where most of the U.S. banks are struggling to maintain their profitability, Prosperity is better placed with its strong capital position. Further, its strategic acquisitions are expected to enhance its financials.

Prosperity currently retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other companies in the same sector include First Financial Bankshares Inc. (FFIN - Free Report) with a Zacks Rank #2, while Texas Capital BancShares Inc. (TCBI - Free Report) and BOK Financial Corporation (BOKF - Free Report) carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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