- New Orleans-based Liberty Bank and Trust is set to become the largest Black-owned bank in the U.S. after the all-cash acquisition of Memphis-based Tri-State Bank closes this week.
- Tri-State shareholders, boards of both institutions and state and federal banking regulators are expected to approve the deal Friday, according to the Memphis Business Journal. Financial details of the transaction, which was announced in June, were not disclosed.
- The deal will form a financial institution with more than $1 billion in assets and operations in 10 states: Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Texas and Tennessee.
"The union of both banks is really being viewed as a partnership," Angel Price, Liberty Bank Memphis senior vice president, told The Commercial Appeal. "Under the Liberty brand, we're able to scale with having access to better technology and a suite of more products and services to offer our customers and borrowers."
The access to new capital will expand Liberty’s loan limit from about $1.2 million to $5 million for qualified borrowers, Price told the Memphis Business Journal.
Liberty Bank’s growth comes as the minority depository institution (MDI) has garnered investment from some of the nation’s largest banks in recent years.
In February, JPMorgan Chase launched a special class of money market shares set to be distributed initially by Liberty Bank and three other MDIs: The Harbor Bank of Maryland, M&F Bank and Unity National Bank.
That same month, Liberty was also one of four MDIs to receive a portion of a $40 million equity investment by JPMorgan.
Liberty was also one of 11 MDIs to get backing from Wells Fargo. The San Francisco-based bank included Liberty Bank in its $50 million pledge in April.
In a statement, Liberty Bank President and CEO Alden J. McDonald Jr. said with the ability to expand its lending limits, it’s "not unrealistic to expect the Liberty Bank Memphis team to double our bank’s share in the market in short order."
Tri-State Bank Chairman Archie Willis III said the deal is a "win-win" for both institutions.
"The Memphis market is a natural extension for Liberty Bank. It’s a good fit," he said in a statement. "Plus, the operational expertise and financial strength Liberty Bank brings to town enhances our ability to serve our current customers and create new opportunities."