Louisiana residents should be interested to know that Louisiana-based Iberia Bank has announced its plan to merge with Georgia Commerce Bank. According to the announcement, Iberia Bank’s acquisition of Atlanta-based Georgia Commerce Bank will be finalized in as little as six months.

Currently Lafayette-based Iberia Bank has served Louisiana since its inception 127 years ago. In addition to Louisiana, Iberia Bank also run’s operations in several other states in the U.S. with a network of 187 branches.

The acquisition will leave Iberia Bank favorably situated to grab a bite of the Atlanta market. To ease the transition into the Atlanta market, Iberia Bank will retain the chairman and chief executive officer of Georgia Commerce, who will become regional president for Iberia Bank’s operations once the acquisition is finalized. Similarly, the pre-acquisition president of Georgia Commerce will also stay on board and serve as executive vice president and Atlanta market president post-acquisition.

Georgia Commerce represents a sizeable investment for Iberia Bank with 142 employees on its payroll and over $225 million total cash and investment securities. In addition, it also holds about a billion dollars in total assets.

When the acquisition is completed Iberia Bank’s total assets will increase to over $18 billion. More importantly however, entering the Atlanta market will help cement Iberia Bank’s foothold in the southeastern U.S.’s five largest metropolitan regions. Iberia Bank has been growing aggressively with a recent acquisition that allowed it to establish a presence in the Dallas market. In addition to the Georgia Commerce acquisition it also has a number of pending acquisitions that will help it strategically target the Florida markets.

As the Louisiana based bank expands, grows and merges with other bank in the U.S., the legal issues and regulatory issues that may arise or need to be addressed during such transactions can be complex. Having an experienced business law firm by one’s side during such crucial business transactions may help the process go smoothly.

Source: The Advertiser, “Iberia Bank to acquire Georgia Commerce,” Dec. 8, 2014