A Louisiana company with $1.4 billion in assets has announced it will buy Synergy Bank, which was founded by a group of investors in Waco in 1998 and since has become part of Premier Bancshares based in the Dallas suburb of McKinney.

Synergy for years operated out of Triangle Tower at Valley Mills and Waco drives but relocated to 7600 Woodway Drive.

First Guaranty is reporting it will pay about $21 million in cash and stock to acquire the parent of Synergy Bank, which has $153 million in assets, according to a company press release.

Officials with First Guaranty said the acquisition reflects its strategy to make waves in the Texas market, specifically the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Premier has branches in McKinney, Garland, Denton and Fort Worth, in addition to its Waco branch.

“First Guaranty continues to move forward. This expansion into the Dallas-Fort Worth-area market is the natural progression down I-20 from our growing northwest Louisiana market presence,” said First Guaranty President and CEO Alton Lewis wrote in the press release. “The merger with Premier and its subsidiary bank, Synergy Bank, gives double significant benefit in that it allows us to tap into the Small Business Administration expertise of Synergy, allowing us to expand those loan products throughout the entire First Guaranty system.”

The merger was made possible “by the strong leadership of Joe Williams, chairman of Premier, the board and the management team,” Lewis wrote in the press release.

Founded in 1934, First Guaranty has grown to 21 branches and has plans to opened a 22nd in Bossier City, Louisiana. It has assets of $1.4 billion, loans of $911 million, deposits of $1.3 billion and equity of $129 million, according to information provided by the company.

Synergy Bank, which operates out of five branches, had assets of $153 million as of Sept. 30, loans of $111 million, deposits of $131 million and equity of $19.8 million.

The transaction awaits regulatory approval.

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