Shareholders approve Simmons’ two bank mergers

The public holding company of Simmons First National Bank said shareholders have approved merger deals with two bank holding companies that have combined assets of $3 billion.

Simmons First said in a news release the approvals were made Tuesday for mergers with Community First Bancshares and Liberty Bancshares.

Community First has $1.9 billion in assets and owns First State Bank, which is headquartered in Union City, Tenn., and operates 32 branches in 25 cities in Tennessee. Liberty has $1.1 billion in assets and owns Springfield, Mo.-based Liberty Bank, which has 24 branches in 16 cities in southwest Missouri.

Simmons First, which has $4.8 billion in assets, said it expects both deals to close later this year or early next year.

The Pine Bluff, Ark.-based bank operates two branches in Wichita.