ARKADELPHIA, ARK – Southern Bancorp, Inc., a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and holding company for Southern Bancorp Bank, today announced that it has closed on its acquisition of DeWitt First Bankshares Corporation and its wholly owned subsidiary, Arkansas County Bank. The acquisition, which was announced in January 2021, closed on May 14th, adding three new bank branches to the Southern Bancorp network, two in Arkansas County (DeWitt and Stuttgart) and one in Sevier County (Lockesburg), bringing the total number of locations in Arkansas and Mississippi to 52.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to join the DeWitt, Stuttgart, and Lockesburg communities and introduce our new team members and customers to Southern Bancorp’s mission-driven style of banking,” said Southern Bancorp Inc. CEO Darrin Williams. “Our blend of traditional banking products and financial development services such as credit and housing counseling and financial education are designed to give everyone in the community access to the tools needed to build wealth, because at Southern, we believe wealth building isn’t just for the wealthy, we believe it’s for everyone.”
The “Southern” organization consists of three separate CDFIs working together for a common mission, including Southern Bancorp, Inc., a bank holding company; Southern Bancorp Bank, a $1.9 billion asset community development bank, and Southern Bancorp Community Partners, a 501(c)(3) development finance and lending organization. Southern’s customers and communities are served by all three entities to ensure that wherever one is on the economic ladder, they have the tools to succeed.
“We are excited to join the Southern Bancorp team and thrilled to offer our customers and communities a wide new range of tools to support their financial journey,” said Warren Jennings Jr., Southern Bancorp Regional President (former President and CEO at Arkansas County Bank). “For over 110 years, Arkansas County Bank has taken a community-centric approach to banking, and now as Southern Bancorp, we’re ready to take that commitment to new heights as wealth builders for everyone.”
Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor and Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP served as legal advisor to Southern Bancorp, Inc. in connection with the acquisition. Olsen Palmer LLC served as financial advisor to DeWitt First Bankshares Corporation while Dover Dixon Horne, PLLC served as legal advisor. Terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
About Southern Bancorp, Inc.
Founded in 1986 by some of the nation’s leading political, business, and philanthropic leaders with an initial investment of $10 million, Southern Bancorp, Inc., along with its development partners – Southern Bancorp Bank and Southern Bancorp Community Partners, has grown into a $1.9 billion asset organization with 52 locations serving 65,000 customers across two states with a unique array of financial products and services designed to help individuals at all stages of life’s financial journey – from teaching kids how to save to helping entrepreneurs and families realize the American Dream. Southern Bancorp is a certified Community Financial Development Institution, certified B-Corp, and proud member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Learn more at www.BankSouthern.com and www.SouthernPartners.org.