Arkansaas Business reports that Simmons First National Corp. is saying that it submitted the best bid among three at a private auction today to acquire Metropolitan National Bank as part of a bankruptcy proceeding for its holding company.

Details were’t released. The deal is subject to approval at a hearing Thursday in federal bankruptcy court.

More details here. A Texas investment group, Ford Financial Group, and the Walton-owned Arvest Bank had also been interested in the acquistion.

By this account, a Simmons purchase and combination with Metropolitan could move the bank to more than 7 percent of the Little Rock market, making it fourth-largest bank in the city behind Bank of America, Regions and Cenntennial.

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