Business First Bancshares has completed its previously announced acquisition of Richland State Bancorp and its wholly owned bank subsidiary Richland State Bank.

With the completion, all the seven Richland State Bank branches located in Louisiana will operate as branches of Business First Bank.

The former president and CEO of Richland State and Richland State Bank Jerome Vascocu will now serve as director on the boards of Business First and Business First Bank.

He will also be the chairman of Business First’s Northeast Region.

Business First president and CEO Jude Melville said: “This merger continues our momentum toward our overall goal of becoming the region’s most influential business-focused community bank.

“We look forward to working with the talented and committed Richland State Bank employees to continue delivering to clients the same level of expertise and service they are accustomed to receiving from their bank, along with a broader combined product set.”

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Richland State Bancorp acquisition: Background

In June this year, Business First Bancshares signed an agreement to acquire Richland State Bancorp and its subsidiary Richland State Bank for nearly $50.8m.

Under the terms of the cash-and-stock deal, Richland State’s shareholders received $10.6m in cash along with 1,679,608 Business First Bancshares shares as consideration.

The combination has made Business First one of the largest Louisiana-headquartered banks with nearly $2.1bn in assets, $1.5bn in loans and $1.7bn in deposits.

It now has 24 full-service banking centres across Louisiana and Texas.