by Max Brantley
Gov. Mike Beebe will preside over a big Arkansas banking combine, to be announced shortly after 3 p.m.
Conway-based Home BancShares, owner of Centennial Bank and a holding company with more than 100 branches in three states and assets of more than $4 billion, will acquire Liberty Banchsares of Jonesboro, an institution with almost $3 billion in assets and 42 branches. They are led, respectively, by John Allison and Wallace Fowler. The combination will create the second largest Arkansas-based banking corporation, after the much larger Walton-owned Arvest.
UPDATE: Liberty shareholders will get $250 million in Home stock and $30 million cash. Here's the full release. The $7 billion institution will have 92 branches in Arkansas alone.