The bases are loaded for Simmons First National (SFNC). The big challenge will involve getting runs across the plate.

The $4.4 billion-asset company agreed Wednesday to buy the $1.1 billion-asset Liberty Bancshares in Springfield, Mo., for $207 million. It is the third acquisition announced this year by the Pine Bluff, Ark., company, which is looking to take advantage of a currency lifted by a distressed bank deal completed last year. Management is also keen to deploy capital raised in 2009.

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