First Financial Bankshares in Abilene, Texas, has agreed to buy Commercial Bancshares in Kingwood, Texas.
The $6.9 billion-asset First Financial said in a press release Thursday that it will pay $59.4 million in stock for the $351 million-asset Commercial. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.
The deal would allow First Financial to gain branches in the Houston suburbs of Kingwood, Fulshear, El Campo and Palacios. First Financial will have 73 locations when it completes the acquisition.
"We are very excited about this opportunity to expand our footprint around Houston," Scott Dueser, First Financial’s chairman, president and CEO, said in the release.
Commercial “is a well-managed bank that has experienced solid growth in assets and earnings and we believe it has excellent growth potential,” Dueser added. “We are most impressed with their management and board, who share our same values, philosophies and commitment to outstanding customer service."
Commercial will pay its shareholders a special dividend of roughly $15.6 million before the deal’s closing.
First Financial has bought two banks since June 2013, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
The company “has good history doing these smaller, but well-priced deals, and we don't expect that to change going forward,” Brady Gailey, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, wrote in note to clients.