Simmons First National (SFNC) in Pine Bluff, Ark., has submitted a bid in bankruptcy court in an effort to buy Metropolitan National Bank in Little Rock, Ark.

The $3.6 billion-asset company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that it bid $16.9 million to buy the $1 billion-asset bank, which is being sold by Rogers Bancshares. Simmons said that the qualifying bid allows it, along with other potential suitors, to participate in an auction set for Monday.

Metropolitan "has a rich history of providing exemplary customer service to the communities in which it is located," the filing said. "Simmons First, if it is successful in its attempt to acquire [the bank], will combine the operations … with Simmons First National Bank and continue to provide the highest quality customer service throughout the combined service area.

Metropolitan reported a profit of $1.3 million for the second quarter, after reporting a $423,000 loss a year earlier. At June 30 the bank had a Tier 1 capital ratio of 6.46% and a total risk-based capital ratio of 11.13%

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