Whitney Holding Corp. of New Orleans is adding another Louisiana community bank to its fast-growing portfolio.

The $4.2 billion-asset company, which last month announced plans to acquire Meritrust Federal Savings Bank in Thibodaux, La., said Tuesday it was purchasing Louisiana National Security Bank in Donaldsville, La., for $32 million in stock.

Under terms of the deal-valued at about 2.48 times book-Louisiana National shareholders would receive $996 per share in Whitney common stock for each share owned. The transaction, expected to close in the second quarter, would extend the bank company's reach into Ascension Parish in southeastern Louisiana, one of the state's fastest-growing jurisdictions.

"This gives us a presence in a parish that we need to be in to grow," said Edward B. Grimball, Whitney's chief financial officer.

Whitney has been adding banks at a rapid rate in recent years. Not including a deal for $233 million-asset Meritrust-also expected to close in the second quarter-the company has bought eight banks in four southeastern states since early 1995.

Both Meritrust and Louisiana National are expected to be renamed Whitney Bank.

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