May 15, 2014

Northstar Bank to acquire Fort Worth-based Community Bank

After the deal is completed, the Northstar will have 26 branches in Dallas/Fort Worth and $1.7 billion in total assets.

Fort Worth-based Community Bank will be acquired by Carlile Bancshares, the parent of Northstar Bank of Texas, the institutions announced Thursday.

It’s the second big acquisition for Carlile, formed in 2009 by bankers Tom Nichols and Don Cosby. Carlile bought Denton-based Northstar Bank in 2012, and will merge Community Bank into Northstar after the transaction closes, expected by year’s end.

After the merger, Northstar will have 26 branches in Dallas/Fort Worth and $1.7 billion in total assets. Terms were not disclosed.

Cosby said the purchase will put Northstar into Johnson and Hood counties as well as Rockwall and Rowlett, suburban Dallas locations that it currently does not serve. Northstar also puts more emphasis on mortgage lending than Community, but otherwise the two banks are focused on the Tarrant-area market and share similar cultures, he said.

It’s the second big merger involving a Fort Worth-based community bank in recent weeks. OmniAmerican Bancorp on April 29 agreed to be acquired by Tyler-based Southside Bancshares in a $307 million stock swap that will create the ninth-biggest banking company in Texas with about $4.8 billion in assets.

That transaction is also expected to close by the end of the year.

Community Bank was founded in 1970 in Granbury. In 2009, it opened a Fort Worth branch and moved its executive offices to Fort Worth.

Last year, it reported net income of $8.1 million, up from $7.7 million in 2012, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. It had about $285 million in net loans as of Dec. 31.

Jimmy Campbell, CEO of Community Bank, said the bank was not looking to sell when Carlile approached it.

“We were comfortable with our size and our customer base and our capitalization,” which is about $50 million for the bank and $57 million for the holding company, Community Bankers Inc., Campbell said. But as the parties talked, “it made a lot of sense,” he said.

Cosby said he anticipates no impact on Community’s employees who are in branch and customer service positions, but merging the two banks’ back-office operations will likely result in some job losses. Campbell said he has agreed to remain with the merged bank.

Community Bank will retain its name until the merger, and then be rebranded as Northstar Bank of Texas under CEO Tony Clark.

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