On January 30, Vista Bancshares Inc., the holding company for Dallas-based Vista Bank, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Charis Holdings Inc. and its subsidiary, Justin-based Charis Bank. The transaction will expand Vista Bank’s footprint and lending ability. With the acquisition, Vista will acquire Charis Bank’s North Texas locations and its $258 million in total assets, adding to Vista Bank’s asset growth of 159 percent over the past five years. Vista will also gain $167 million in total loans and $222 million in total deposits based on balances as of December 31, 2022.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2023. With the transaction’s closing, Charis Bank will merge into Vista Bank. Additionally, certain directors and executive officers of Charis Bank have entered into agreements with Vista Bank.
“Banking is a people business,” notes John D. Steinmetz, Vista Bank’s president and CEO. “If the numbers are right but the culture doesn’t fit, long term it’s not going to be a good deal. That said, in the next 10 years I believe you’ll see increased bank consolidation in Texas because of the rising cost of technology, innovation, competition from fintechs and shadow banks, as well as the ongoing regulatory environment. We want to be the bank that [other bank] boards around the state look to in order to create value for their shareholders.”
“As a century-old company, we sought to partner with Vista Bank because their history and operating philosophy mirrors our own while allowing us to bring new financial capabilities and services to our loyal clients and the markets we serve,” says Ben Rathjen, Charis Bank’s president and CEO. “We are confident our stakeholders and communities will benefit from this transaction and the future growth of Vista Bank, and we look forward to becoming part of the Vista family.”
Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor to Vista, with Fenimore Kay Harrison LLP serving as legal advisor. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, A Stifel Company, served as financial advisor to Charis, with Alston & Bird LLP serving as legal advisor.
Established in 1912, Vista Bank serves North, Central and West Texas markets through its 14 locations and emerging digital presence. Established in 1907, Charis Bank has banking offices in Justin and Dallas.