Home BancShares in Conway, Ark., is adding to its holdings in Florida.

The $9.8 billion-asset company said in a press release Thursday that its bank has been declared the winning bidder for Bank of Commerce in Sarasota, Fla., as part of a bankruptcy auction. Bank of Commerce Holdings, which had filed for protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, has been saddled with $10 million in trust-preferred securities owed to institutional investors.

Home, which agreed to pay $3.8 million for the $196 million-asset bank, said it expects the court to approve the bid within the next week. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

Bank of Commerce has three branches, $130 million in loans and $153 million in deposits.

"We are excited about the opportunity to expand our footprint in the Sarasota area," John W. Allison, Home's chairman, said in the release. "If approved, The Bank of Commerce customers will now have access to 20 Centennial locations throughout central Florida."

Home, a serial acquirer that had been atypically quiet for most of this year, recently agreed to buy the parent of Landmark Bank in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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