Hancock Holding Company
) announced its plan to divest 10 of the 40 branches that were
slated to close by this year-end. These branches are part of
Whitney Holding Corporation, which the company acquired in Jun
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Hancock signed a deal with Many, LA-based Sabine State Bank to
divest 3 branches located in Louisiana. Upon closure of the
transaction, Sabine will likely acquire about $20 million in
loans and assume nearly $30 million of deposits.
Further, Hancock is slated to sell another 7 branches in Texas to
Lake Jackson, Texas-based Texas Dow Employees Credit Union
(TDECU). Following the deal's completion, TDECU will get
approximately $34 million of loans and assume $30 million of
The sale of branches, still subject to regulatory approvals and
certain closing conditions, is anticipated to be complete by the
end of this year. Moreover, financial impact from the sale will
be reflected in Hancock's fourth-quarter 2013 results.
) acted as a financial advisor for the company.
Earlier in Sep 2011, Hancock divested 7 Whitney Bank branches in
Mississippi Gulf Coast region and 1 branch in Bogalusa, Louisiana
in order to resolve branch concentration concerns of the U.S.
Department of Justice relating to the Whitney merger.
The present branch sale is part of Hancock's efficiency
improvement program. Increasing operating expenses remain a major
cause of concern. Hence, in Apr 2013, management announced an
efficiency and process improvement initiative to lower annual
expense levels by $50 million by the end of 2014.
Currently, Hancock carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
Some better performing Southeast banks include
Home Bancshares, Inc. (Conway, AR)
Pinnacle Financial Partners Inc.
). Both these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).