Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK) in Little Rock, Ark., is constructing a regional headquarters in Florida.

The $3.9 billion-asset company is building a headquarters and another branch in Bradenton, Fla., the Bradenton Herald reported Thursday. The bank has four Florida branches, three of them in Manatee County, where Bradenton is located.

"The vibrant business climate coupled with the outstanding quality of life here makes Manatee County very attractive to Bank of the Ozarks," Barry Brown, president of the Manatee/Sarasota market, told the Bradenton Herald. "We are excited about the dynamics of an improving housing market alongside local government and business leaders' vision for bringing jobs and industry to Manatee."

Bank of the Ozarks has been expanding throughout the South through acquisitions. In January, it agreed to buy the First National Bank of Shelby in North Carolina for $68 million, an acquisition that would add $857 million in assets and 14 branches to its current three North Carolina locations. In December, it completed a deal for the $167 million-asset Genala Bank in Geneva, Ala., which gave Bank of the Ozarks its third Alabama branch.

The company has 23 employees at its three Manatee County branches and plans to hire more when the new locations open in 2014, the Bradenton Herald said.

The two locations are properties Bank of the Ozarks acquired when it bought the failed Horizon Bank in 2010.

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