Liberty Bank to be acquired by Veritex for $64M

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Veritex Holdings Inc.

Established: 2010

Headquarters: Dallas

Market areas: Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, Houston

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CEO: C. Malcolm Holland III


Total assets: $3 billion

Total deposits: $2.4 billion

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Liberty Bank

Established: 1985

Headquarters: Fort Worth

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Market area: Five branches in Tarrant County

Total assets: $459.3 million

Total deposits: $389.4 million

Fort Worth-based Liberty Bank is being acquired by Dallas-based Veritex Holdings Inc. for about $64 million in cash and stock, the two banks announced Aug. 1.

Veritex, the parent holding company for Veritex Community Bank, announced the agreement on the day it completed its acquisition of Sovereign Bancshares Inc. valued at $162 million. With Liberty Bank, Veritex will have five Tarrant County locations, two in Fort Worth. As of June 30, Liberty Bancshares, the parent company of Liberty Bank, reported total assets of $459.3 million, total deposits of $389.4 million and total equity capital of $48.1 million on a consolidated basis. Liberty Bank is ranked No. 11 among banks in deposits in Tarrant County, No. 4 among Texas-based banks in the county.

The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2018.

Veritex’s chairman and CEO, C. Malcolm Holland, said the two banks share a focus on community banking.

“Liberty’s culture and community atmosphere are a perfect fit for the Veritex family,” he said.

Under the merger agreement, Veritex will issue 1.45 million shares of its common stock and pay about $25 million in cash to existing shareholders of Liberty.

The acquisition of Sovereign Bancshares already gave Veritex one Fort Worth location and two other Tarrant County locations, plus a foothold in the Austin and Houston markets. Established in 2010, Veritex Holdings has 21 locations in several of the fastest-growing metropolitan markets in the United States, nine of those coming with the Sovereign acquisition. Holland said he has always liked Liberty Bank and says the Fort Worth market is very attractive.

“They [Liberty Bank] have an experienced lending team with intimate knowledge of the Fort Worth area,” he said.

Holland said Veritex plans to keep Liberty Bank’s management team intact.

“We are pleased to enter into this strategic transaction with Veritex,” said Elliott S. Garsek, chairman of the board of Liberty. “We view this as an opportunity to become part of a successful and community-oriented bank group and believe that the transaction enhances long-term value for our shareholders.”

Veritex’s community banking focus appealed to Don R. Waters, president and CEO of Liberty.

“We are excited to join an organization that shares our approach to community banking,” he said. “Our customers will continue to enjoy the benefits of local decision making, while gaining access to an expanded product set and the convenience of a larger branch network.”

Liberty Bank has about 70 employees. Veritex, after the Sovereign Bank acquisition, has about 275.

Veritex was advised in this transaction by Stephens Inc. as financial adviser and Norton Rose Fulbright US LP as legal counsel. Liberty was advised by Sheshunoff & Co. as financial adviser and Haynie Rake Repass & Klimko PC as legal counsel.

On July 19, Veritex reported second-quarter net income of $3.6 million. It said it had earnings of 23 cents per share and posted revenue of $16.1 million in the period. Its adjusted revenue was $14.1 million. –

Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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