Texas Star Bank, which is now in its 129th year serving Van Alstyne, which has expanded into several surrounding towns, and which has expanded its services beyond conventional banking, has signed an agreement to merge with the Mississippi-based BancorpSouth Bank.

The information here is taken from the press release that BancorpSouth issued and from research into the history of Texas Star Bank. Messages left with Texas Star Bank President Randall Jones have not been returned, but at this point in the merger, leaders in both entities are restricted from making further statements or answering questions.

According to the press release, it takes a while for such a merger to reach finality. The definitive merger agreement was signed March 5, and both firms expect it to be finalized “during the second half of 2019, pending regulatory approval and satisfaction of the other customary closing conditions.” The press release also identifies much of its wording as “forward-looking statements,” applicable only as of the date they were made, but subject to change.

Jones is quoted in the press release saying, “We are pleased to be partnering with a regional bank that shares our commitment to providing excellent customer service and being involved in its communities. This merger is an important milestone in our bank’s nearly 130-year history and will position us for continued success.”

Texas Star Bank has long been known for its involvement and service to the city and its occupants, and the story has been told that during the Great Depression the bank president never allowed the foreclosing of one house, as long as that homeowner came in and paid even fifty cents on his loan. The bank donated its original building, on East Jefferson Street just south of Dorothy Fielder Park, to the city for use as city hall. The city has sold that building now, after using it for decades for that purpose, and that building is undergoing remodeling inside and out.

Dan Rollins, BancorpSouth Bank’s CEO, indicated in his statement in the press release that BancorpSouth will continue to be involved in the Van Alstyne community, “We’re excited to announce our plans to combine with Texas Star Bank. Texas Star (Bank) is a well-established bank with a strong customer base and deep relationships within its communities. We’re looking forward to introducing our products and services to Texas Star’s customers and continuing the progress that its leadership team has already made in supporting the local communities.”

Texas Star Bank began in 1890 in Van Alstyne and has branched out to include seven full-service banking offices in Collin and Grayson counties and one loan production office in Durant, which opens a BancorpSouth door in southern Oklahoma as well

BancorpSouth Bank is headquartered in Tupelo, Miss. It operates approximately 285 full-service branch locations as well as additional mortgage, insurance and loan production offices in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas, plus an insurance office in Illinois.

The press release does provide some financial information on both corporations involved in this merger. It states that, as of Dec. 31, 2018, Texas Star Bank’s consolidated assets come to $378 million, with $317 million in total loans and $329 million in total deposits. With the completion of this acquisition, as well as a second one BanCorpSouth Bank is making at the same time, the parent company, BancorpSouth Bank will have 71 full-service banking offices, five mortgage loan production offices, and four insurance offices in Texas, with total deposits in Texas of approximately $3.5 billion and total loans of approximately $3.9 billion. BancorpSouth Bank reported has a total of approximately $18 billion in assets.

“Under the terms of the merger agreement, BancorpSouth Bank will issue 2.1 million shares of its common stock, plus $20.5 million in cash, for all outstanding shares of Van Alstyne Financial Corporation capital stock, subject to certain conditions and potential adjustments,” the press release states and goes into banking/financial verbiage. “The terms of the agreement provide for a collar with respect to the total deal value ranging from $80.0 million to $86.7 million. If necessary, the share count may be adjusted downward or the cash consideration may be adjusted upward to accommodate the respective boundaries of the collar.”

Both businesses’ boards of directors have unanimously approved the merger, the release states, but there are still certain conditions necessary to completely close the transaction, and those are the approval by the Texas Star shareholders, and the “receipt of customary regulatory approvals.”

Both companies had both legal counsel and financial advice before entering into this agreement, the press release said.