Business First Bancshares To Snap Up Smith Shellnut Wilson


Business First Bancshares, Inc., the holding company for b1BANK signed a definitive agreement under which b1BANK will acquire Smith Shellnut Wilson (SSW). Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed and the deal is expected to close in the coming weeks.

Business First Bancshares, Inc. (BFST), through b1BANK, operates 43 banking centers. b1BANK provides commercial and personal banking, treasury and wealth solutions.

Smith Shellnut Wilson is a registered investment advisor and specializes in portfolio management. At the end of December 2020, SSW had $3.5 billion in assets under management. b1BANK had $235 million under its Wealth Solution Division at the same time.

b1BANK’s President and CEO, Jude Melville said, “b1BANK has worked closely with SSW since the day we chartered 15 years ago. We value the quantifiable impact they’ve had on the management of our investment portfolio, we respect the sophistication of their capabilities as specialists, and we trust them as people.”

Melville further added, “Bringing SSW under the b1BANK umbrella will allow us to  expand the set of products and services we offer through our Financial Institutions Group while also strengthening the investment services we offer to our individual clients.” (See Business First Bancshares stock analysis on TipRanks)

Recently, Raymond James analyst William Wallace reiterated a Hold rating on the stock but did not assign a price target. Commenting on the company’s 4Q performance, Wallace said, “4Q results exceeded expectations on higher revenues, fuelled by $4.4 million in gains on the sale of loans associated with the Main Street Lending Program.”

Business First Bancshares scores a 1 out of 10 from TipRanks’ Smart Score rating system, indicating that the stock may underperform the broader market. Shares have rallied about 147.5% over the past year.

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