SmartFinancial Inc., (the Knoxville-based parent company of SmartBank) and Tennessee Bancshares, Inc., (the parent company of Tullahoma-based Southern Community Bank) jointly announced Tuesday the signing of a definitive merger agreement.
Under the terms of the agreement, SmartFinancial will acquire Tennessee Bancshares, with SmartFinancial as the surviving corporation.
Following that merger, Southern Community Bank will merge into SmartBank, with SmartBank surviving.
Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company is expected to have assets of approximately $2 billion.
According to Southern Community’s President and CEO Bill Yoder, this partnership is a perfect fit.
“We could not have picked a better partner from a community banking perspective. Because of our similar cultures, SmartBank’s core values align perfectly with Southern Community’s values, with a strong emphasis on client service and commitment to the communities we serve.”
“Southern Community Bank sees pairing with such a forward growing company as SmartBank as an ideal opportunity,” said Southern Community’s Chairman of the Board Theresa Devlin.
“Our customers will benefit immediately from this partnership, as we enhance our ability to provide each of them with additional resources and the best banking options available,” added Yoder.
Established in 2007, SmartBank has more than $1.6 billion in assets and operates 22 branches and three loan production offices spanning East Tennessee, Tuscaloosa and Southwest Alabama, and the Florida Panhandle.
This marks the company’s fifth acquisition in the past five years.
“This is another big step for SmartBank in becoming the Southeast’s next great community banking franchise. We are excited to partner with Southern Community and look forward to serving an expanded footprint in our newest markets in Murfreesboro, Huntsville and Tullahoma,” said SmartBank President and CEO Billy Carroll.
“The opportunities that exist in these thriving markets combined with Southern Community’s strong history of dedicated client service and unwavering commitment to its communities, affirm that this transaction will produce a successful partnership.”
The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approval of Tennessee Bancshares’ shareholders and the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018.
The parties anticipate that, following the merger, Bill Yoder will assume the role of chief banking officer for SmartBank and Clifton Miller, who currently serves on the Tennessee Bancshares and Southern Community boards of directors, will join the SmartFinancial and SmartBank boards of directors.