LITTLE ROCK - A major Little Rock-based bank is on track to be acquired by a Dallas-based private equity firm with ties to Gerald J. Ford.
Lunsford W. Bridges, President and CEO of Metropolitan National Bank, announced Friday that the bank's holding company, Rogers Bancshares, has signed a definitive agreement with Ford Financial Fund II, L.P., to purchase and recapitalize the bank. The transaction will, among other things, restore its compliance with regulatory capital requirements.
Ford Financial Fund II has raised $750 million to invest in U.S. banks; their first investment will be used to recapitalize Metropolitan National Bank.
"We have been working diligently for several years to secure a strategic partner with a shared vision and commitment to move forward Metropolitan's unique brand of Nearby & Neighborly banking," said Bridges. "The capital investment will be the final step in achieving full compliance with the regulatory order we've been operating under since May 2008, and will provide substantial capital to facilitate lending and business development in the communities we serve. Ford Financial Fund II is an ideal fit and the best choice for the bank's customers, employees and for continued growth and progress in the state."
To facilitate the purchase and recapitalization of the bank, Rogers Bancshares will voluntarily file a petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. The Chapter 11 filing affects only the holding company and does not affect Metropolitan.
"It is important for our customers, employees and the community to know that Metropolitan National Bank, which operates separately from the holding company, is not a part of the Chapter 11 process," Bridges said. "It will be business as usual at the bank and all customer deposits remain safe and insured to the fullest extent possible by the FDIC. We deeply appreciate the support of our customers and employees while we have taken time to identify the very best partner to take Metropolitan into the future."