July 20, 2016
MSouth Announces the Successful Merger of Community & Southern Holdings, Inc. and Bank of the Ozarks, Inc.
Atlanta, GA (July 20, 2016) – MSouth Equity Partners, an Atlanta-based private equity firm, announced the merger of its portfolio company, Community & Southern Holdings, Inc., a leading personal and business banking service provider, with Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. (NASDAQ: OZRK). Community & Southern Holdings, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Community & Southern Bank, is one of Georgia’s strongest banks with more than $4.0 billion in assets. Community & Southern Bank is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and operates 47 branches throughout Georgia and one office in Jacksonville, Florida.
George Gleason, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of the Ozarks stated, "We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Community & Southern Bank. This combination is a hand in glove fit. The synergies created by our highly complementary combined network of 75 Georgia banking offices, with virtually no overlap, will give us a powerful presence in Georgia, providing customers with great access and convenience. The addition of Community & Southern's Jacksonville, Florida office provides us entry into the favorable Jacksonville market and expands our existing 10-office presence in Florida. Even more important is the depth and expertise of our two extremely talented teams of bankers. Our customers in Georgia and Florida will benefit from our great combined team, our expanded network of banking offices and enhanced services. We are excited about the tremendous growth opportunities."
Mike Long, an MSouth Partner, said, "We are very pleased to announce the successful merger of Community & Southern Bank. The transaction is the realization of a long-term investment strategy that has generated a good return for our investors. The transaction is a direct result of management’s incredibly hard work over the past six years, having built a quality franchise and unrivaled footprint throughout Georgia."
MSouth Equity Partners is a private equity investment firm that provides equity capital and expertise to support management teams in acquisitions and recapitalizations of lower middle market companies typically valued between $25 and $150 million. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, MSouth invests primarily in the South with a consistent focus on management buyouts of companies in sectors where the firm has significant investment, management and transactional experience. MSouth invests with the objective of increasing operating cash flow through growth initiatives and active ownership. A key element of MSouth's investment strategy is partnering with proven management teams to create value. Founded in 2007, MSouth manages $1.3 billion with three active funds. MSouth is the successor to Cravey, Green & Wahlen, which was formed in 1984.