Banks based in Raceland, Gonzales merging _lowres


The parent companies of Community Bank in Raceland and United Community Bank in Gonzales, which share the same majority ownership, plan to merge.

Under the agreement, United Community Bancshares Inc. is being merged into Community Bancorp of Louisiana Inc., officials said Monday. The combined holding company will operate under the name Community Bancorp of Louisiana Inc. and be headquartered in Raceland.

United will be added to the beginning of the Community Bank name in Raceland, symbolizing the unity of the two banks. No other major changes are expected.

“We are simply merging the two banks in order to take advantage of the efficiencies and added convenience associated with operating one bank,” the companies said on their websites.

The merger will create a bank holding company with more than $600 million in total assets that serves six south Louisiana parishes.

Community Bank, founded in 1964, operates from eight locations in Lafourche, Terrebonne, Assumption and St. John the Baptist parishes. United Community Bank, founded in 1998 as an affiliate bank, has five locations in Ascension and East Baton Rouge parishes.

Community Bank has one location each in Raceland, LaPlace, Larose, Golden Meadow, Napoleonville and Houma and two in Thibodaux. United Community Bank has three locations in Gonzales and one each in Baton Rouge and Prairieville.

The merger has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both holding companies and is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter. The merger of the two banks will take place by April.

The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions, including customary regulatory approvals and the approval of the shareholders of Community Bancorp of Louisiana and United Community Bancshares.

“The merger of our holding companies is the first step toward completing the integration of our organizations,” said Mike Riché, president and chief executive officer of both Community Bank and United Community Bank and a board member of both. “In recent years, we have been aligning our processes and product offering and consolidating our operations as much as possible in order to prepare for this combination. This merger will be a very seamless nonevent for our customers,” he said.

“The ability to serve businesses and consumers from the capital and river regions down to the Gulf of Mexico provides us a footprint within the fastest-growing and strongest economies within the state of Louisiana.”

Another member on both banks’ boards is Corey J. Callais, chairman.

Other members of the Community Bank board are C.M. Callais, CEO of Abdon Callais Offshore LLC; Gloria Callais, retired business owner; Clarence J. “Chuck” Savoie II, president of CJ Savoie Consulting Engineers; John Shaver, president of Shaver-Robichaux Insurance; and Minor A. Cheramie Jr., president of L&M Botruc.

Other members of the United Community bank board are Gordon R. Crawford, an attorney; Frank P. Frederic, a retired business owner; James “Buzzy” Landry, owner of Landry’s Pharmacy; Marcy J. LeBlanc Sr., president of Payless Supermarkets; and Samuel A. Speligene, owner of Dutchtown Chevron.