How Will Centennial-Liberty Bank Merger Affect You?

A big business announcement could affect more than 1,000 jobs across the state.
LITTLE ROCK, AR -- A big business announcement could affect more than 1,000 jobs across the state.

The parent company that owns Centennial Bank has bought Liberty Bank.

Businessmen from across the state packed an auditorium at the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce to hear details of the $280 million deal.

"This particular transaction has been talked about, pitched, negotiated for years," said John Allison, CEO of Home BancShares -- the parent company of Centennial Bank.

Allison said his long-time friendship with Liberty Bank chairman Wallace Fowler greased the gears of business allowing the deal to happen.

The average customer at the 46 Liberty Bank locations across the state will start noticing changes by the end of the year.

That's when bank representatives say Liberty Bank locations will switch their name to Centennial Bank.  Accounts will switch over around the same time.

What's not as clear is how the merger will affect bank employees.

"There's very little overlap, so there should be very little concern on behalf of those employees," said Governor Mike Beebe.

But experts say some layoffs are almost certain among the company's employees that after the merger now number more than 1,000 across the state.

Beebe said the merger, which creates the second largest bank in the state, will make Centennial bank stronger.

Searcy and Morrilton are the only two cities in Arkansas that have both Liberty and Centennial bank locations.  Home BancShares representatives said it's still to early to say if any of the locations will be closed.

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