The group of investors, led by Charles Chiasson as the new bank president and CEO, expect to 'inject additional capital' into the bank for its expansion into Baton Rouge. 

A cadre of Baton Rouge area executives are acquiring a community bank and plan to open a local branch.

The deal to acquire Oak Grove-based Delta Bancshares of Louisiana Inc., the holding company of Commerce Community Bank, is expected to be in cash but the price was not disclosed. To pay for the acquisition, the investor group is raising capital through a private stock offering.

Commerce Community Bank has locations in Oak Grove in Louisiana and in Eudora, Arkansas. It has $65 million in total assets, $55 million in deposits and $39 million in total loans. 

The group of investors, led by Charles Chiasson as bank president and CEO, expects to "inject additional capital" into the bank for its expansion into Baton Rouge. Commerce Community Bank President Brian Ayers is expected to become market president.

Chiasson was a founding member of South Louisiana Business Bank in 2007, which was later sold to Investar Bank in 2011. Chiasson is getting back into banking with this deal after retiring from Investar, according to his LinkedIn profile.

"After some time analyzing several banks, we have found Commerce Community Bank to be an excellent fit for our growth strategy," Chiasson said.

Scott Gaudin, former market president of The First, A National Banking Association, in Baton Rouge, is tapped to become Commerce Community Bank's chief lending officer. 

Robert Daigrepont Jr., treasurer of Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers and a certified public accountant, will be chairman of the board of directors for the bank. 

“Commerce Community Bank will give us an immediate book of loans and deposits, which generally takes a few years to produce when a bank starts from scratch," Daigrepont said. "While we considered filing an application to start a new bank, it became clear that beginning further along in the process by partnering with an existing, healthy community bank, was certainly a greater benefit.”

Other board members of the bank include Patrick Coogan, CEO of SportsBR Inc., Flynn Foster, CEO of Guaranty Broadcasting, Barry Hugghins, founder of Reliant Technologies Inc., a manufacturer of lubricant and drilling fluid additives in Port Allen and Ravi Patel, commercial contractor leader at Supreme Construction and family-run hotel owner. 

The deal has already been agreed upon by the board of directors at each entity and the deal is expected to close by the end of first-quarter 2021. 

Commerce Community Bank had $38 million in total loans as of June 2019 and grew by $1 million over the past year for a total of $39.1 million as of June 30, according to federal regulatory records. It had 15 employees. Net income was $334,000 this year, down slightly from $379,000 in June 2019.

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