Home BancShares co-founder and Chairman John Allison is shrinking his ownership stake in the Conway, Ark., company for estate-planning purposes.

The $9.6 billion-asset company said Thursday that Allison is selling 2.7 million shares, or about 30% of his ownership stake, in a secondary public offering. Based on Thursday's closing share price of $22.67, the offering would net Allison roughly $61.2 million.

The company said that Allison, 69, will remain a "sizable shareholder" and continue to serve as its chairman. The sale would leave him with 6.5 million shares, or 4.6% of the total shares outstanding. Stephens is the book-running manager for the offering.

"My financial advisers have been encouraging me to work on my estate planning for some time," Allison said in the release. "Thus, today I am finally executing on their request."

Allison co-founded Home BancShares, the parent of Centennial Bank, in 1998, and has built it into the third-largest banking company in Arkansas largely through acquisitions. The company has acquired 17 banks since 2008 and now has nearly 150 branches in Arkansas, Florida and Alabama.

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