Bank of the Ozarks Inc. of Little Rock announced Thursday, plans to acquire all outstanding common stock of Summit Bancorp Inc., including its wholly-owned bank subsidiary Summit Bank of Arkadelphia for $216 million.

The merger will be the largest acquisition in the bank’s history.

"Today, two premier Arkansas banking organizations, who share very similar philosophies and cultures, are joining to create an even more powerful banking franchise for our customers, employees and shareholders," Bank of the Ozarks Chairman and CEO George Gleason said in a news release.

As of Dec. 31, Summit Bank had approximately $1.2 billion of total assists, $778 million of loans and $994 million of deposits.

Summit Bank operates 23 banking offices and one loan production office in nine Arkansas counties, primarily in southwest and central Arkansas. Conway has two Summit Banks, located at Skyline Drive and Salem Road.

"Bank of the Ozarks has built its Arkansas presence primarily in southwest and central Arkansas," Gleason said. "The synergies created by combining these two complimentary, high performing community banks are significant. Given the similarities in our cultures and business models, this combination should be very positive and a smooth transaction for our combined customers and employees."

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the second quarter of 2014. Following the closing, Ross Whipple, chairman and CEO of Summit Bancorp, is expected to be elected to the Board of Directors of Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. and Bank of the Ozarks.

An Investor Presentation containing more information regarding the transaction has been posted to the company’s website under "Investor Relations."

(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at or by phone at 505-1215. Send us your news at