BancorpSouth (BXS) Extends Merger Agreements with Central Community Corp., Ouachita Bancshares

October 14, 2016 7:15 AM EDT

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BancorpSouth, Inc. (NYSE: BXS) announced the extension of the merger agreements with Central Community Corporation and Ouachita Bancshares Corp. The merger agreements were extended until December 31, 2017, with changes designed to protect the parties from the risks associated with the prolonged regulatory approval process that has delayed completion of the mergers.

"We are pleased to announce the extension of the exclusivity component of our merger agreements with Ouachita Bancshares Corp. and Central Community Corporation," stated Dan Rollins, BancorpSouth Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We continue to believe these proposed transactions are in the best interest of the shareholders and teammates of all three organizations as well as the communities we collectively serve."

"While we are disappointed in the length of time it has taken to complete our merger, we believe this extension further demonstrates our commitment to completing the proposed transaction with BancorpSouth," added Clyde White, Chairman and former Chief Executive Officer of Ouachita Bancshares Corp.

"We are hopeful that the extension of our merger will provide adequate time to resolve remaining hurdles necessary to obtain regulatory approval," stated Donald Grobowsky, Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Central Community Corporation. "We continue to believe a partnership with BancorpSouth is the best strategic option for our company moving forward."

As previously announced, the mergers have been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of all three companies, and by the shareholders of Central Community Corporation and Ouachita Bancshares Corp. The transactions remain subject to required regulatory approvals and the satisfaction of other closing conditions, although BancorpSouth can provide no assurance that either merger will close timely or at all.

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