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Shreveport Bank plans to purchase a community bank in nearby Benton | business


The Federal Bank of Shreveport has signed a deal to buy First National Bank of Benton in an all-cash deal, banks announced Tuesday.

The boards of both banks unanimously approved the deal. It is expected to close in the first quarter of 2023.

Although full terms of the transaction were not disclosed, the merger should create a financial boon for shareholders in Northwest Bancshares Corp., the holding company of First National Bank of Benton. According to a press release, Northwest Bancshares shareholders will receive $10.1 million in stock options and an additional $8.4 million in a one-time cash distribution.

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According to a press release, Northwest Bancshares had $81.7 million in assets, $52.1 million in loans, $65 million in total deposits and $14.2 million in equity as of August.

According to federal documents, Home Federal Bank has $590 million in assets, $532 million in deposits and $387.9 million in loans.

Home Federal Bank is headquartered in Shreveport and has nine banking locations across northwest Louisiana. First National Bank operates a location in Benton, about half an hour north of downtown Shreveport.

“First National provides a natural extension of our franchise within our home market,” said James R. Barlow, chairman, president and CEO of Home Federal Bank, in a statement. “First National has built an exceptional customer base in its market area. We are excited to expand into the Benton community and increase our market share in Bossier Parish.”

Northwest Bancshares President and CEO John A. Batson said the merger will present a “great opportunity” for the company’s customers and employees.

“Home Federal Bank has an extremely impressive platform that allows our customers to take advantage of enhanced products, services and locations without sacrificing the high level of customer service they have come to expect,” Batson said in a statement.