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Two Become One

Two Mid-South banks – Trustmark Corp. and Cadence Financial Corp., each with a handful of branches in Shelby County – announced the signing of a merger agreement Wednesday afternoon.

Cadence is merging its 38 offices in five states into Trustmark, which also offered to buy the $44 million of Troubled Asset Relief Program money and associated warrants Cadence has not yet repaid to the federal government for a little more than $30 million. The U.S. Treasury has indicated it is tentatively willing to sell its preferred stock in Cadence and associated warrants subject to entry into a definitive agreement that’s acceptable to Treasury officials.

The merger means the end of a 125-year-old bank, Cadence, and the continued upswing of Trustmark, which recently repaid its own TARP funds and had what Trustmark CEO Richard Hickson told The Daily News was “a great 2009.”

Hickson is retiring at the end of the year.

The Trustmark-Cadence merger is expected to close no later than the first quarter of 2011 and is subject to approval by regulatory authorities and Cadence’s shareholders as well as certain other closing conditions.

Trustmark was advised by the investment banking firm of Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P., as well as the law firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC. Cadence was advised by the investment banking firm of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., and the law firm of Jackson Walker L.L.P.

Cadence had $1 billion in loans and $1.5 billion in deposits as of June 30.

Dansette

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