First-Citizens Bank & Trust (First Citizens Bank) and First South Bancorp have signed a definitive merger agreement.
The agreement provides for the acquisition of Spartanburg-based First South Bancorp by First Citizens Bank, which is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. The announcement was made jointly by Frank B. Holding Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of First Citizens Bank, and Barry L. Slider, vice chairman, chief executive officer and president of First South Bancorp.
The agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. The transaction is anticipated to close as soon as the second quarter of 2019, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals, the approval of First South Bancorp shareholders and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.
Under the terms of the agreement, cash consideration of $1.15 per share will be paid to the shareholders of First South Bancorp for each share of outstanding common stock. Assuming the conversion of Series A preferred shares into common stock, this equates to a total transaction value of $37.5 million.
As of Sept. 30, 2018, First South Bancorp reported $237 million in consolidated assets, $195 million in deposits and $173 million in gross loans.
First South Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of First South Bancorp, opened in 1996 and provides banking services in South Carolina through four branch locations in Spartanburg, East Spartanburg, Greenville and Bluffton/Hilton Head with a loan production office in Columbia. First South Bank also maintains an operations office (First South Center) in Spartanburg.
Customers should bank as they normally do at their existing branches, which will become part of First Citizens Bank upon the completion of the merger. With more than 550 locations in 19 states, First Citizens Bank operates 138 branches in South Carolina, including 19 branches in Spartanburg and Greenville counties, three in Beaufort County and 20 in Richmond and Lexington counties.
First Citizens chairman and CEO Frank Holding Jr. said: “We’re glad to announce this agreement with First South Bancorp, a company whose core values mirror our own. It’s an excellent opportunity to enhance our commitment to the people and businesses of South Carolina and to continue to expand in key markets – including the vibrant Upstate area. First Citizens Bank has an extensive and proud history in the state, and we look forward to serving our new customers pending completion of this merger.”
First South Bancorp vice chairman, chief executive officer and president Barry L. Slider said: “We are pleased to be joining a longstanding and well-respected company like First Citizens Bank. We both share similar philosophies and a strong commitment to our customers.
“The proposed merger will allow us to continue to give a highly personalized banking experience to our clients, while providing them with an enhanced set of products and services in the months to come. We look forward to working closely with First Citizens Bank to complete this transaction.”
Banks Street Partners, LLC acted as financial advisor and rendered a fairness opinion to the board of directors of First South Bancorp in connection with this transaction. Ward and Smith, P.A., represented First Citizens Bank in the transaction; Alston & Bird LLP represented First South Bancorp.
Source: Company Press Release