BancPlus Corporation announces the acquisition of First Trust Corporation

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RIDGELAND, Miss. AND NEW ORLEANS – (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – BancPlus Corporation (“BancPlus”), the parent company of BankPlus (“BankPlus”), and First Trust Corporation (“First Trust Corporation”), the parent company of First Bank and Trust (“First Bank and Trust”) , jointly announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which BancPlus will acquire First Trust Corporation.

Subject to the terms of the merger agreement, shareholders of First Trust Corporation will receive common shares of BancPlus and cash consideration for each outstanding common share of First Trust Corporation.

Based on financial data as of June 30, 2021, the combined company will have approximately $ 6.4 billion in assets, $ 5.7 billion in deposits and gross loans of $ 4.5 billion. The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the voting members of each company’s board of directors and is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of 2022, pending customary closing conditions, including receipt of the required regulatory approvals. and shareholder approval of First Trust Company.

BankPlus, founded in 1909 in Belzoni, Mississippi, is a $ 5.1 billion financial services company with 79 branches in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, and provides comprehensive commercial banking, mortgage and wealth management. American banker has named BankPlus one of the “Best Banks to Work For” for eight consecutive years.

Founded in 1991, First Bank and Trust operates 14 branches in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. First Bank and Trust is the 10th largest Louisiana-headquartered financial institution in terms of assets and ranks 7th in New Orleans in terms of deposit market share. As of June 30, 2021, First Bank and Trust held approximately $ 1.3 billion in total assets, $ 1.2 billion in deposits and $ 1.1 billion in gross loans.

BankPlus ‘acquisition of First Bank and Trust builds on the two companies’ presence in Louisiana, particularly in the New Orleans market. “We are thrilled to join a leading regional player with a strong desire to grow and continue our legacy of involvement in the New Orleans community,” said First Trust Corporation President and CEO Joe Canizaro . “By joining BankPlus, our customers will have access to a wider range of banking products and services. ”

“Our relationship with BankPlus began many years ago. As the relationship developed we came to understand how great an organization they are. We are excited to join the BankPlus team and believe our clients will benefit from greater lending capacity and access to an experienced wealth management group, ”said Gary Blossman, CEO of First Bank and Trust.

“We are very excited about this partnership and the opportunity it presents for our clients, team members and shareholders combined,” said Bill Ray, President and CEO of BankPlus. “We are committed to this region and believe that the combination of two like-minded, community-driven banks will benefit our stakeholders and the region we serve. ”

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. acted as financial advisor, and Jones Walker LLP and Covington & Burling LLP acted as legal advisers to BancPlus. Piper Sandler & Co. acted as financial advisor and Phelps Dunbar LLP acted as legal advisor to First Trust Corporation.

About BancPlus Corporation

BancPlus Corporation is the holding company of BankPlus. Founded in 1909, BankPlus is one of the leading regional banks in the South East serving consumers and businesses with the latest technology through a full range of financial services including retail banking, commercial banking, lending mortgage and wealth management. With more than $ 5.1 billion in total assets, BankPlus operates 79 financial centers in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. For more information on BankPlus, visit www.bankplus.net

About First Trust Corporation

Since its founding in 1991, First Trust Corporation has been dedicated to helping members of their community improve their financial well-being. Based in New Orleans, LA, First Bank and Trust operates a total of 14 branches throughout Louisiana, Southern Mississippi and the Florida Panhandle, providing a wide range of commercial, consumer, mortgage and tuition banking services to his clients. As of June 30, 2021, First Bank and Trust had $ 1.3 billion in total assets, $ 1.2 billion in deposits and $ 1.1 billion in gross loans. For more information on First Bank and Trust, please visit www.fbtonline.com.

Disclaimer: Additional information about the merger and where to find it

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any of the securities described in this document, and there will be no offer or sale of such securities in any jurisdiction in which an offer, a solicitation or sale would be illegal. prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of that jurisdiction.

In connection with the proposed share exchange, BancPlus Corporation will file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) a registration statement on Form S-4 to register the common shares of BancPlus Corporation to be issued to shareholders of First Trust. Society. The registration statement will include a proxy / joint prospectus which will be sent to the shareholders of First Trust Corporation as part of their approval of the share exchange. In addition, BancPlus Corporation may file other relevant documents regarding the proposed share exchange with the SEC.

WE INVEST INVESTING INVESTORS AND HOLDERS OF SECURITIES TO READ THE DECLARATION OF REGISTRATION ON FORM S-4 AND THE JOINT POWER OF ATTORNEY / PROSPECTUS INCLUDED IN THE STATEMENT OF REGISTRATION AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS TO BE FILED UNDER THE SEC OF THE PROPOSED EXCHANGE OF SHARES, AS THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BANCPLUS CORPORATION, FIRST TRUST CORPORATION. AND THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Investors and securityholders can obtain free copies of these documents, when available, from the website maintained by the SEC at http://www.sec.gov. Complimentary copies of the Proxy Circular / Joint Prospectus may also be obtained, when available, by directing a request by phone or mail to BancPlus Corporation, Kevin Bailey at 601-607-4452 or First Trust Corporation. , Gary Blossman at 504-586-2787. Any information on the BancPlus Corporation and First Trust Corporation websites is not, and will not be deemed to be, part of this press release or incorporated into other documents filed with the SEC.

BancPlus Corporation and First Trust Corporation and their respective directors, officers and officers may be considered participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of First Trust Corporation in connection with the exchange of shares. Additional information regarding the interests of these participants can be obtained by reading the proxy / joint prospectus regarding the exchange of shares when available.

Forward-looking statements

Certain of the statements contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The words “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “plan”, “believe”, “should”, “seek”, “” “may”, “” and “” these forward-looking statements , but other statements not based on historical information may also be considered forward-looking. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of any of the merging parties to differ materially from the results, performance or achievements expressed or under – understood by these forward-looking statements. statements. Such risks include, without limitation, the possibility that regulatory and other approvals and conditions of the transaction may not be received or satisfied in a timely manner or not at all, or contain unforeseen terms and conditions; the possibility that changes to the terms of transactions may be necessary in order to obtain or satisfy such approvals or conditions; the receipt and timing of shareholder approvals; delays in closing the merger; difficulties, delays and unforeseen costs associated with integrating the activities of the merging banks or achieving the expected cost savings and other benefits; business disruptions resulting from the integration of the merging banks, including the possible loss of customers; diversion of management time to resolve transaction issues; changes in asset quality and credit risk following the merger; changes in customer borrowing, repayment, investment and deposit behavior and practices; changes in interest rates, capital markets, and local and national economic conditions; the timing and success of new business initiatives; competitive conditions; and regulatory conditions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. You should not place undue reliance on these statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. You should understand that various important factors, including those discussed in “Risk Factors” in BancPlus Corporation’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and its most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which are available on the SEC’s website at www.sec.gov, could affect future results and could cause such results or other results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in its forward-looking statements.

Source: BancPlus Corporation


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