In 2014, several CitizensNational Bancorp Inc. directors and officers visited with UnionCity, Tenn.-based First StateBank's leadership in Union City to share ideas and opportunitiesfor cooperation. Opportunities for a merger were informally discussed.
The banks did not strike a deal, but in May 2014, PineBluff, Ark.-based Simmons FirstNational Corp. agreed to acquire First State Bank. That transaction in 2015.
First State Bank's leadership told Citizens National'sleadership they had decided to take a different path, moving toward achievingliquidity sooner. But they also said they would recommend to the Simmonsleadership that they look toward Athens, Tenn.-based Citizens National and theEast Tennessee market for a subsequent acquisition.
Simmons and Citizens National did explore a possible deal.Citizens National also talked to some other potential acquirers.
Eventually, onMay 18, Simmons,Citizens National and unit CitizensNational Bank executed a stock purchase agreement. The was valued atroughly $77.0 million. In addition to the purchase price, Citizens NationalBank will distribute a one-time cash dividend of $3 million to CitizensNational immediately before the closing.