Hancock Whitney acquires Louisiana bank

Hancock Whitney Corp. will purchase MidSouth Bank of Lafayette, Louisiana, for a stock transaction of $213 million, the banks announced Tuesday.

The acquisition will expand the Hancock Whitney Bank footprint into northern Louisiana and Dallas, Texas, and the addition of MidSouth’s $1.7 million in assets will put Hancock Whitney’s assets over $30 billion.

The Associated Press reports that MidSouth has been losing money and struggling with bad loans. The bank sold more stock, closed branches and sold off some loans, but on Tuesday MidSouth posted a loss of $6.6 million in the first quarter of 2019.

John Hairston, president and CEO of Hancock Whitney, said the merger strengthens the company and provides Hancock Whitney with opportunities for growth. Hancock Whitney now operates banks and financial centers in Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Louisiana and Texas.

The transaction is expected to close late in the third quarter of 2019.

Mary Perez is the business and casino reporter for the Sun Herald and also writes about Biloxi, jobs and the new restaurants and development coming to the Coast. She is a fourth-generation journalist.