Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK) in Little Rock, Ark., has agreed to buy Bancshares Inc. in Houston.

The $4.7 billion-asset Bank of the Ozarks said Monday that it will pay about $23 million in cash for Bancshares, which is the parent of the $301 million-asset Omnibank. The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter, should be immediately accretive to Bank of Ozarks' earnings per share.

Omnibank has five branches in Texas, including three in Houston, four in Austin and one in San Antonio. Omnibank had $169 million in loans and $369 million in deposits at Sept. 30.

Omnibank "has forged strong customer relationships with south Texans for nearly six decades," George Gleason, Bank of the Ozarks' chairman and chief executive, said in a press release. "Omnibank's offices substantially expand our existing footprint in Texas."

Bank of the Ozarks is on schedule to open a specialties group office in Houston early next year, Gleason said. "For 10 years we have recognized the growing importance of our Texas offices, and Omnibank's substantial presence in the Houston and Austin markets should continue that trend," he said.

Omnibank would become Bank of the Ozarks' tenth acquisition since March 2010. It bought First National Bank of Shelby in North Carolina in July.

Bancshares was advised by investment bank Sterne, Agee & Leach and law firm Jones Walker. Bank of the Ozarks was represented by law firm Kutak Rock.

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