Renasant, First M&F shareholders approve merger

By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal

As expected, shareholders for Renasant Corp. and First M&F Corp. overwhelmingly approved the merger of their two companies.

The deal, first announced in February, would see Tupelo-based Renasant acquire Kosciusko-based First M&F in a stock transaction then valued at about $119 million. As of today, that deal is now valued at about $142 million.

First M&F shareholders would receive 0.6425 shares of Renasant for every First M&F share they have.

The merger was approved by 99.65 percent of eligibile Renasant shares and 99.1 percent of eligible First M&F shares. The Renasant vote equated to 17.2 million of 17.3 million shares approving the merger; for First M&F, 6.53 million of 6.6 million voted in favor.

The deal still must meet regulatory approval, but it’s expected to be complete by the third quarter of this year.

“Sooner, rather than later,” said Renasant Vice President of External Affairs John Oxford.

After that, the banks could work to combine their systems, and everything should be operating under one roof, so to speak, by the end of the year.

As for what will happen to some Renasant Bank and M&F Bank offices that are in overlapping markets, Oxford said there are “seven to 10 branches which will be overlapping that we’ll be looking at consolidating.”

In fact, nine M&F and Renasant locations are within a mile of each other, and in an SEC filing in April, Renasant said it plans to “close or consolidate” other locations.