Vista Bancshares, Inc. Announces Agreement to Acquire Charis Holdings, Inc.


DALLAS, TEXAS, Jan. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Vista Bancshares, Inc. (“Vista”), the holding company for Vista Bank, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Charis Holdings, Inc. (“Charis”) and its subsidiary, Charis Bank. Working with Charis’ historically strong core deposit base in a high-growth market and partnering with their well-respected, community-leading investors, the transaction will expand Vista Bank’s footprint and lending ability while maintaining the Bank’s commitment to responsible growth and strategic M&A.

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% 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. Already named one of the region’s top commercial lenders, scaling Vista will further empower the entrepreneurs’ bank to serve even more small and middle-market companies.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals and approval of Charis’ shareholders.

The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the transaction. Vista will issue shares of its common stock for all outstanding shares of Charis common stock. 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,” said John D. Steinmetz, Vista Bank President & CEO. “If the numbers are right and 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 boards around the state look to in order to create value for their shareholders.”

Ben Rathjen, Charis President and Chief Executive Officer, added, “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. 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.

About Vista Bank

Best known as the entrepreneurs’ Bank, Vista Bank serves North, Central, and West Texas markets through its 14 Banking Center locations and emerging digital presence. With 159 team members, $1.6 billion in assets as of December 31, 2022, and a rich 111-year history of entrepreneurs banking entrepreneurs, Vista operates more like a start-up than a traditional bank, offering innovative solutions to personal and commercial clients while never sacrificing the top priority – putting People First. Learn more about Vista Bank, consistently recognized regionally and nationally as a top-rated financial institution, leading commercial Bank, best place to work, best leadership team, and best in customer service.