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EBSCO purchases Rankin Insurance

By Eric Fleischauer 340-2435

EBSCO Industries Inc. increased its Decatur holdings Tuesday with the purchase of First American Insurance, formerly Rankin Insurance.

EBSCO acquired Summit Treestands in 2002. It is in the process of moving a $700,000 facility for Modern Muzzleloading Inc. to Decatur.

First American Insurance was part of Birmingham-based ANB Insurance Services, a subsidiary of First American Bank. First American is a subsidiary of Alabama National Bancorporation.

Now it will be part of EBSCO subsidiary S.S. Nesbitt & Co., an insurance firm also based in Birmingham. EBSCO also bought six other
locations in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.

The companies would not disclose the purchase price.

Richard Pardue, chief operating officer of S.S. Nesbitt, said he expects no turnover in the Decatur and Huntsville offices. The two offices employ 14, most based in Decatur.

"The exciting thing is we're still going to have the same folks over there that have always been there," Pardue said. "It should be pretty much transparent."

He said the acquisition will make the company stronger and provide more products for its customer base.

Pardue said the name of the Decatur location would eventually change since it no longer is affiliated with First American Bank.

Once Modern Muzzleloading has finished relocating, EBSCO will employ more than 100 in Decatur.

EBSCO, which employs 5,000 internationally, is in the top 200 of U.S.-based privately held companies in terms of revenue and number of employees, according to Forbes Magazine.

M.R. Rankin founded Rankin Insurance in 1918. Alabama National Bank bought the company in 1999.

Alabama National Bank merged with First American in 1997.

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