Renasant of Miss. buying Ga. bank in $258M deal

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Mississippi-based regional bank Renasant Corp. will acquire Georgia-based Heritage Financial Group, the parent of Heritage Bank of the South for $258 million in stock.

The banks announced the merger Wednesday.

The merger will move Renasant, based in Tupelo, into southern Georgia and northern Florida for the first time and bolster the bank in the Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama, markets.

It’s a combination of two banks that have been gobbling up other institutions.

Heritage, based in Albany, Georgia, has $1.9 billion in assets. Renasant says the merger would give it $7.5 billion in assets and 171 offices across Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida.

The banks say they hope to complete the merger before October 2015. Renasant says it would boost profits immediately and that there is “minimal” overlap of branches.