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Simmons bought Tenn. bank in 2015 that had held informal deal talks with Citizens National

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Simmons bought Tenn. bank in 2015 that had held informal deal talks with Citizens National

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.