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Houston company completes Cadence Bank deal

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- A Houston company that invests in community banks has completed its $30 million buyout of Cadence Financial Corp. and invested $144 million in Cadence Bank, the companies said Monday.

Community Bancorp LLC agreed on Oct. 6 to acquire Starkville, Miss.-based Cadence for $2.50 per share. The deal was completed late Friday. Cadence’s 38 offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Florida will continue to operate under the Cadence Bank and Cadence Financial names.

Cadence has $1.1 billion in loans, $1.5 billion in deposits and about $1.9 billion in assets. But the company was hit by sour real estate loans that have plagued banking companies nationwide and posted a $112.2 million loss in 2009.

New board chairman Paul Murphy Jr., who also is Community Bancorp’s president, said the $144 million investment “will provide a solid foundation for Cadence’s future growth” and qualify the bank under federal regulations as well capitalized.

Mark Abernathy remains Cadence’s president and chief executive, posts he has held since 1998. Richard Hatson will continue as chief financial officer, while Teresa Hemphill was named chief credit officer.

Cadence’s board also will have four top officials of Community Bancorp, including Murphy. Abernathy will remain on the board.