FirstSun-Pioneer Tie-up to Create $7B Texas Bank

FirstSun Capital Bancorp has acquired Pioneer Bancshares, merging the Texas-based entity into its organization as a strong year for banking M&A continues.

The combined company will have $7 billion in total assets with over $5 billion in both loans and deposits across 60 branch locations.

The deal will bring Sunflower Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of FirstSun, an expanded presence in Texas. The transaction is intended to qualify as a tax-free reorganization and is expected to close in October 2021, subject to regulatory approvals.

Upon closing, the board of both FirstSun and Sunflower will be expanded to include former Pioneer directors.

“We believe the additions brought by Pioneer will complement our growing presence in Texas and will be a perfect fit with our existing customer base and relationship-driven philosophy,” said Mollie Carter, chair of FirstSun and Sunflower.

Elsewhere, an investor group led by former BrandBank CEO Bartow Morgan Jr has overseen the $180 million acquisition of George Banking Company.

Patriot Financial Partners was the lead investor in the equity raise, closely followed by FJ Capital Management.

Private placements of $125 million in equity and $55 million in debt will be used to build a commercial banking franchise. Representatives from both Patriot Financial and FJ Capital will sit on the bank’s board, with Safe Harbor Consulting partner Jim Lientz as chairman. Morgan will serve as CEO.

Under new ownership the bank, which has $652 million in assets, will serve middle market businesses across Atlanta. Key executives and personnel in the organization will remain.

Separately, KeyBank has formed a strategic affiliation with payment provider XUP Payments through an equity investment.

The partnership is designed to support the launch of Key Merchant Services, an acquisition and servicing website run by the bank.

The deal will help the new system overcome customer and technology challenges with a fully digital experience. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

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