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First Bancorp (FBNC) to Acquire GrandSouth in All-Stock Deal

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First Bancorp (FBNC - Free Report) announced that it signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire GrandSouth Bancorporation in an all-stock transaction. The deal is valued at $181.1 million or $31.43 per share, based on FBNC’s stock price as of Jun 17, 2022.

At closing, shareholders of GrandSouth will receive 0.910 shares of FBNC’s common stock for each share of GrandSouth's common and preferred stock they own.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of the companies. It is anticipated to close in late fourth-quarter 2022 or early first-quarter 2023, subject to customary norms, including GrandSouth shareholder approval and regulatory nod.

Given GrandSouth Bank’s footprint of eight branches in South Carolina, the acquisition enables First Bancorp to scale in its targeted markets, including Greenville, Fountain Inn, Anderson, Greer, Columbia, Orangeburg and Charleston. With a focus on small business banking, the acquisition complements First Bank's strengths in that area.

When the buyout closes, the combined entity will have more than $12 billion in assets, $7 billion in loans and $10 billion in deposits.

"We are very excited about this partnership and the unique opportunity it presents," noted J.B. Schwiers, president and director of GrandSouth. "We have long admired First Bancorp, and our combined company will be positioned to capitalize on an enhanced presence in exceptional markets, talent, and financial strength,” he added.

Over the past year, shares of First Bancorp have lost 18.1% compared with the industry's decline of 10.6%.


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Currently, First Bancorp carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Inorganic Growth Efforts by Other Companies

Earlier this month, F.N.B. Corp (FNB - Free Report) signed an agreement to acquire Greenville-based UB Bancorp to bolster its presence in North Carolina. The all-stock deal is valued at $19.56 per share or nearly $117 million, based on the closing stock price of FNB as of May 31, 2022.

Following the deal completion, expected in the last quarter of 2022, F.N.B. Corp will likely move to the eighth position in North Carolina in terms of deposit market share. Also, the cost of deposits of 11 basis points will be accretive to the company’s financials in a rising rate environment.

The merger between Fulton Financial Corporation (FULT - Free Report) and Prudential Bancorp, Inc.  is expected to get wrapped up in early July. Recently, more than 98% of Prudential Bancorp shareholders gave their approval for the stock and cash deal (announced in March) worth $142.1 million.

Following the transaction closure, FULT will operate two banking subsidiaries — Fulton Bank, N.A. and Prudential Bank — until Prudential Bank is merged into Fulton Bank. Notably, the bank merger is likely to occur in the fourth quarter of 2022, the approval for which was received from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency on Jun 13.

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