Trustmark and BancTrust announced last week that regulators have approved a $55.4 million merger that will see BancTrust — the holding company that owns BankTrust — merged into Mississippi-based Trustmark. -- file photo

Regulators approve $55.4M deal involving BancTrust

Published 10:20pm Thursday, January 31, 2013

JACKSON, Miss. — Last May, Mobile-based BancTrust, the holding company that owns BankTrust, announced it had agreed to a merger with Jackson, Miss.-based Trustmark bank.

The deal, which was valued at $55.4 million and was expected to be completed by October. But, delays in the transition and delays in gaining approval from regulators put the deal off to February.

Last week, the two companies announced that all required regulatory approvals had been received for BancTrust to be merged into Trustmark and that “the transaction is expected to be effective as of the close of business on Friday, Feb. 15.”

Trustmark, based in Jackson, Miss., has more than 170 offices in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

In a press release from Trustmark announcing the regulatory approval, BankTrust customers were urged to “continue to conduct their banking business as usual, using existing branches, checks and ATM or debit cards, until receiving notice from Trustmark that system changes have been completed, which is expected to occur by the end of the first quarter of 2013. At that point, BankTrust customers will have an expanded offering of products and services, as well as the added convenience provided by more than 170 Trustmark banking centers in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.”

“We are delighted to be joining forces with Trustmark and look forward to continuing to serve our customers as part of a strong, $12 billion regional banking organization,” BancTrust President and CEO W. Bibb Lamar Jr. said.

In information shared last year, during an analyst presentation after the merger was announced, Gerald R. Host, President and CEO of Trustmark, said the move is one that allows Trustmark to move into many Alabama markets, where BankTrust was the dominant bank, and into an overall market, where he sees growth on the horizon.

Information in the presentation showed BankTrust had a top three position in five of the 10 markets mentioned, and held the top position in four of those markets.

In Selma, the report showed BankTrust was the market’s No. 1 bank, with 28.1 percent of the market share. The bank also held the top position in the Brewton, Monroeville and Greenville markets.

In Walton County, Fla., BankTrust had the No. 2 spot. In Mobile, BankTrust was the No. 5 bank with an 8.5 percent market share.

“We look forward to welcoming customers and associates of BancTrust to the Trustmark family,” Host said last week. “Expansion into attractive Alabama markets, including Mobile and Montgomery, as well as increasing scale in existing Florida Panhandle markets, represents a great opportunity for Trustmark.”

With assets of $2.0 billion, BancTrust provides an array of traditional financial services through 40 bank offices in the southern two-thirds of Alabama and nine bank offices in northwest Florida.

  • Tanked Merger

    I’ll name names, starting with the brick salesman and local attorney that single handily ran the CEO of the old Peoples Bank out after generations of profitability and growth. I hope they are happy with their choices as they will have to stand accountable one day for their actions.

  • Selma

    It is a shame that the Peoples Bank board approved such a horrendous deal to merge with Banktrust which has subsequently devalued the stock of PeoplesBT from $26 to a low of $2. Peoples was a rock solid bank with little bad debt while Banktrust had been losing fortunes from bad real estate loans. Banktrust gutted what was Peoples, selling off profitable branches and terminating numerous employees, many of whom were in Selma, just to cover the losses of the branches in the Mobile area. Even after taking government bailout TARP money and gutting Peoples Bank, the Banktrust board rewarded their CEO and top execs with large pay raises and have some of the largest salaries in the country for a bank their size. They even tried to give CEO Lamar an almost million dollar retirement package; for what? For ruining not one but two banks with his incompetence? Everyone who lost their retirement accounts from their stock tanking or lost their jobs at PBT having to relocate elsewhere should let the old board of Peoples know how foolish they were for not doing their due diligence before agreeing to such a titantic failure of a merger and how much they damaged the financial well being of Selma and its citizens. You were business leaders in the Selma community and you destroyed the a great financial institution and the lives of many attached to it. Shame on you old Peoples board and you know who you are without me needing to name you here.

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