First United Bancshares Inc., a $2.7 billion-asset multibank holding company based in El Dorado, Ark., announced this week that it plans to buy Texarkana (Tex.) First Financial Corp. for $37.5 million in cash.

First United is itself being bought - by $5.8 billion-asset, Tupelo, Miss.-based Bancorp South Inc. - in a $455 million stock deal that is expected to close in the third quarter.

Texarkana First is the $206 million-asset parent of First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Texarkana.

First United is to pay $23.35 per share for Texarkana First's stock, which was trading at $22.50 at midday Wednesday.

The First United-Texarkana First sale also is expected to close in the third quarter.

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