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M&A watch: Where one of Nashville’s biggest lenders is hunting for deals

JANUARY 29, 2018
Nashville Business Journal
Author Meg Garner

It’s been just over five months since FirstBank completed its $284 million acquisition of the Clayton Banks, but that’s not keeping the Nashville-based lender from scouting its next deal.

During the bank’s fourth-quarter earnings call, CEO Chris Holmes laid out to analysts what the bank might look for in its next deal, with a particular emphasis on where the bank is on the hunt.

“We’re in a constant state of dialogue,” Holmes said during last week’scall. “Geographically, as we are having conversations, it’s really markets like us and that are around us. We actively have conversations in Alabama, I’d say all the way down to Birmingham. … We have them in Georgia all the way down to Atlanta and including Atlanta. We have conversations, over in say the western parts of North and South Carolina even in Southern Virginia and of course our footprint in Tennessee. And maybe even a couple of markets in Kentucky, which are contiguous for us.”

Holmes’ comments show the Nashville-based lender is still focused on growth, particularly since its stock — which began trading in September — continues to perform well. With $4.7 billion in total deposits, FirstBank (NYSE: FBK) is the third-largest lender based in Tennessee, with offices throughout the state, northwest Georgia and Huntsville, Ala.

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