CommunityBank of Texas to acquire Houston bank

5999 Delaware location (photo by Kevin King)

CommunityBank of Texas announced Monday, March 17, that its holding company, CBFH Inc., has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire MC Bancshares Inc., the holding company of Memorial City Bank, in an all cash transaction. The combined assets of the two independent and privately owned banks of roughly $2.8 billion make the combined company one of the largest privately held banks in Texas. With this acquisition, the bank will have a substantial majority of its loans and deposits in the Houston marketplace.

“I am very pleased to announce our acquisition of Memorial City,” said Bob Franklin, CommunityBank’s chief executive officer. “Bringing the high quality team from Memorial under CommunityBank’s umbrella increases our presence in the Houston area and positions us to continue our rapid growth. I have known the bankers at Memorial City for many years and am proud to welcome them to our organization. Adding experienced Houston bankers furthers our efforts to expand within the market as we leverage their relationships and expertise.”

Established in 2008 in the West Houston area, Memorial City has grown to almost $300 million in total assets without ever having a non-performing asset. Since becoming profitable in its second year, Memorial City has shown strong earnings growth.

Allen Gage, Memorial City’s chairman and chief executive officer, will join CommunityBank’s executive leadership team.

“We are proud of the franchise our employees have built in such a short time and are pleased to be joining CommunityBank,” Gage said. “Memorial City and CommunityBank’s partnership will provide our customers the benefits of a larger platform and additional product offerings while still receiving the high level of individual care they enjoyed at Memorial City.”

The proposed transaction has been approved by the boards of each company. Pending MC Bancshares shareholder approval and customary regulatory approvals, the acquisition of Memorial City Bank by CommunityBank of Texas is expected to close on or about June 30. “We’re always looking to grow,” said Pat Parsons, CommunityBank’s chairman. “This was an opportunity to purchase a quality bank in the Houston market that would increase our presence (in the Houston area) and enhance our shareholder value. Memorial City’s strong growth and pristine credit are a perfect fit for our Houston growth strategy. It allows us to offer more locations in Hous-ton for our customer base and an increased menu of products.”

This acquisition marks CommunityBank’s second transaction in as many years in the Houston market. In August 2013, CommunityBank merged with Vista Bank Texas, one of the largest independent banks in the greater Houston area with aggregate assets exceeding $2.3 billion. Parsons said CommunityBank plans to continue to survey the market for acquisitions that make sense for its shareholders.

“Further expansion in the growing Houston market is the key as we position ourselves as the pre-eminent independent bank in the state of Texas,” Parsons said. “We’re always trying to continue to grow.”

CommunityBank of Texas, N.A. was formerly known as Countybank, National Association and changed its name to CommunityBank of Texas, N.A. in August 2007. The company was founded in 1926 and is based in Beaumont.

Despite the expansion west, there are no plans to move the bank’s main office, located at 5999 Delaware, to Houston, Parsons said.