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BancorpSouth Bank (BXS) Extends Deal With Liberty Financial

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BancorpSouth Bank BXS jointly inked the continuation and extension of its strategic business affiliation with Liberty Financial Services, Inc., the holding company of Liberty Bank and Trust Company. The renewal and extension of the $8.5-million investment in Liberty is via non-cumulative perpetual preferred stock, which was initially issued in 2016.

Per the strategic mentor-bank relationship, BancorpSouth will continue to offer certain advisory services to Liberty, which will include, but are not limited to, guidance on information technology management, recommendations for talent recruitment, associate training and development, strategies for the design, development and implementation of new banking products and services, as well as recommendations on loan originations.

Liberty's purpose is economical distribution of cost-effective superior quality delivery, and customer-driven avant-garde financial products and services in varied markets, with special focus on disadvantaged minority communities.

The collegial alliance offered growth capital to Liberty, thereby fostering its competency to create commercial loans and deliver other banking and financial services to varied businesses, individuals and households in those outnumbered, disproportionate communities.

The chairman and CEO of BancorpSouth, Dan Rollins, remarked, "This renewed commitment reflects our continued focus on supporting the revitalization of underserved communities in the markets we serve and neighboring markets. It's a privilege to continue our work with Alden McDonald and his team, knowing that collectively we can make a stronger impact."

Our Take

Aided by its solid liquidity position, BancorpSouth has been making strategic investments. With these acquisitions, BancorpSouth can expedite expansion of customer base and geographical presence. Notably, On May 1, the bank completed its proposed merger with National United Bancshares, Inc. and with FNS Bancshares, Inc. The company looks forward to tap into similar opportunities in future as well.

Shares of this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company have gained 4% over the past six months compared with the industry's growth of 28.4%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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Similar to BancorpSouth, several other financial firms have been undertaking efforts to expand operations. M&T Bank Corporation MTB and People’s United Financial Inc. PBCT announced a merger deal earlier in 2021. The all-stock deal, worth $7.6 billion, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to necessary approvals.

Moreover, Peoples Bancorp Inc. PEBO has inked a deal to acquire Premier Financial Bancorp, Inc., which will further solidify its position across several states. The all-stock deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021.

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