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SCBT and First Financial agree to merge operations

US-based bank holding company, SCBT Financial (SCBT) has entered into a definitive agreement with First Financial to merge their operations and establish a new regional banking entity.

Based on the agreement, for each share of First Financial common stock, its shareholder will receive 0.4237 shares of SCBT common stock, while the total stock has been valued at nearly $302.4m.

SCBT Financial president and CEO Robert R Hill, Jr., said that the integration of both banks will provide adequate strength and resources to emerge as a regional bank in the Southeast.

Following closure of the deal, the integrated entity will own nearly $8.3bn in total assets, $6.9bn in total deposits and $6.1bn in total loans.

The combined bank will manage a branch network of 148 offices in the Carolinas and generate over $2bn in mortgage loans, according to the company.

Satisfying customary closing conditions and approval from the regulators as well as SCBT and First Financial shareholders, the transaction is likely to complete during the third quarter of 2013.

Established in 1934 and headquartered in South Carolina, First Financial manages First Federal Bank, which owns 66 offices in the Carolinas.

SCBT Financial operates at 82 locations in 19 South Carolina counties, 10 North Georgia counties, two coastal Georgia counties and Mecklenburg County in North Carolina.