HOUSTON -- Charter Bancshares executed a definitive agreement to acquire Houston-based West Loop Savings and Loan Association for approximately $9.3 million in cash plus additional cash consideration based on adjusted earnings.

West Loop, with total assets of $137 million at June 30, is the fifth-largest thrift based in Harris County, Tex.

The transaction, expected to close by Dec. 31, is subject to the approval of West Loop shareholders and the appropriate regulatory agencies.

Charter's chairman and chief executive, Jerry E. Finger, said the acquisition "represents an attractive opportunity for Charter to add higher earning assets to its balance sheet."

He said the deal would broaden Charter's penetration of the Houston market.

When combined with Charter's purchase of $75 million in residential construction loans from Roosevelt Financial Group, the deal will "significantly increase our loan-to-deposit ratio and also positively impact our efficiency ratio," he said.

$108 Million in Loans

At June 30, West Loop had total loans of about $108 million, of which 44% were single-family residential, 11% were multifamily residential, and 16% were single-family residential construction.

About 62% of West Loop's total loans bear interest at a floating rate.

Charter Bancshares is a $660 million multibank holding company with three member banks.

Based in Houston, Charter has 16 banking offices serving the Greater Houston and Galveston markets.

Additionally, Charter has six mortgage lending locations in Houston, Austin, Dallas, and Plano.

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