Lafayette bank to acquire Britton & Koontz Bank
NATCHEZ — Long-time Natchez Bank Britton & Koontz announced Tuesday it would be acquired by a Louisiana bank in a move that will create a $1.2 billion company.
Home Bancorp, the holding company for Home Bank of Lafayette, will acquire B&K Capital Corp. — the holding company for B&K Bank — for $34.5 million.
The deal is subject to the approval of the banks’ shareholders and regulators, but once approved, B&K shareholders will receive $16.14 cash for each share of stock. The shareholder vote will happen early next year.
As of Sept. 30, B&K had assets of $313 million, $175 million in loans and $224 million in deposits. The merger will double Home Bancorp’s loan and deposit base.
Home Bancorp has 23 locations in the Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans areas. B&K has three locations in Natchez, three in Baton Rouge and two locations in Vicksburg.
B&K got its start in 1838 when brothers William A. Britton and Audley C. Britton, and businessman George M. Koontz, founded a private banking firm; the owners consolidated their interests and organized Britton & Koontz Bank in 1866.
B&K President and Chief Executive Officer Page Ogden said industry observers can see many community banks entering into similar arrangements as the announced merger to create stronger banks.
Home Bancorp President and CEO John Bordelon said he understood the historic roots of B&K in Natchez.
“When you are looking for something like this, you want to find a bank with a strong cultural similarity,” Bordelon said. “It is difficult to take a bank with culturally different values and convert them over to yours, but I think this bank has similar values to ours and will make a strong union.
“We like to think as a community bank, we make a difference because we are closer to our customers.”
Bordelon said the B&K branches will be re-branded, but the new company will keep some reminders — for example, plaques inside the building — of its B&K roots. The re-branding will happen sometime next year.
“We feel it will be a great union under both names,” he said.
Page said he expects the transition will be a “seamless” one for customers, adding B&K’s staff is motivated to make the change as painless as possible.
Bordelon said some customers may have to re-signup for some online services, but B&K customers will be able to continue to use their current checks until it is time to reorder.
Home Bancorp will have people in the B&K offices this week looking at how everyone works there and how they can fit into the organization as a whole, Bordelon said.
“We want to keep as many people as possible,” he said. “It is not our goal to chop hundreds of people, though there sometimes are duplications.”
This deal will be Home Bancorp’s first expansion outside of Louisiana.
“At first, we were nervous about that, but the more we looked at it, the more confident we became that the Natchez market was an extremely sound market that resembled our existing markets,” Bordelon said. “There’s a lot of confluence between Natchez, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.”
Home Bank was chartered in 1908 as Home Building and Loan.