LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Worthen Banking Corp, said it plans to refinance $25 million to $30 million of debt to free up cash for acquisitions.

The company said in its most recent quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission that it is pursuing the placement of that amount of term debt and will use the proceeds to pay down $21 million of bank debt.

Acquisition-minded Worthen acquired First National Bank of Fayetteville for an estimated $22.2 million in cash and stock. The company also has reached definitive agreements to acquire Stephens Diversified Leasing Corp. and Union of Arkansas Corp. in stock transactions.

The acquisitions, when completed, will increase Worthen's asset base to about $3.5 billion, from $2.2 billion at Sept. 30.

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