Business First Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: BFST), the parent company of b1BANK, announced an agreement to acquire Oakwood Bancshares, Inc. and its subsidiary Oakwood Bank in an all-stock transaction valued at $85.7 million. The deal, based on the closing stock price of $21.57 on April 22, 2024, aims to expand Business First’s footprint in Texas, particularly the Dallas market, and is set to increase its consolidated assets to approximately $7.4 billion and consolidated total loans to over $5.6 billion. As of the end of 2023, Oakwood reported assets of $843 million and total equity capital of $90.7 million. The acquisition will add six full-service banking centers to b1BANK’s network and is expected to close in Q4 2024, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory and shareholder approvals. Jude Melville, CEO of Business First, emphasized the alignment of community-focused cultures between the two banks and the strengthening of their collective market platform. Roy J. Salley of Oakwood Bank will join b1BANK as regional chairman of Dallas post-acquisition, and William G. Hall will be appointed to the boards of both Business First and b1BANK. Business First received financial advice from Raymond James & Associates, and legal counsel from Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP. Oakwood sought financial advice from Stephens Inc. and legal counsel from Norton Rose Fulbright US, LLP. The transaction is anticipated to deliver strategic growth and shareholder value, with former Oakwood shareholders set to own approximately 13.5 percent of the combined company.

Banking & Financial Services,United States, Texas, Louisiana