HomeTrust to acquire Jefferson Bancshares


HomeTrust Bancshares Inc. plans to acquire Jefferson Bancshares Inc. in a deal worth $51.2 million, the two companies said Thursday.

The deal will bring together two regional banks in the South and give HomeTrust access to the east Tennessee market. The combined company will have approximately $2.1 billion in assets.

Jefferson Bancshares, headquartered in Morristown, Tenn., is the holding company for Jefferson Federal Bank. It operates 12 banking sites. HomeTrust, based in Asheville, N.C., is the holding company for HomeTrust Bank and operates 21 offices.

Under the deal, HomeTrust will pay Jefferson shareholders $4 in cash plus $4 in HomeTrust shares for each share they hold. The deal has been approved by boards of both companies and is expected to close in the second quarter

HomeTrust said that it expects the deal will add 18 cents per share to its earnings in the first year of combined operations.

Shares of Jefferson Bancshares Inc. rose $1.23, or 18.9 percent, to $7.76 in midday trading Thursday. HomeTrust shares rose 32 cents, or 2 percent, to $16.17.

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