Lexington's First Community Bank grows with deal with Spartanburg bank

Greenville NewsJune 24, 2014 

Money in hand

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DANI SIMMONDS

— Lexington-based First Community Bank and Spartanburg-based First South Bank said Monday they signed a purchase and assumption agreement for First Community to acquire approximately $43 million in deposits and $9 million in loans from First South.

Officials at the banks said the deal includes all the deposits and a portion of the loans at First South's Columbia banking office at 1333 Main St.

First Community is paying $800,000, which might be adjusted based on actual account balances when the deal closes, bank officials said. The officials expect the purchase to close by the end of the third quarter following regulatory approval and satisfaction of other customary closing conditions.

The deposits and loans will be transferred to First Community's recently opened downtown Columbia banking office at 1213 Lady St., near First South's location.

“Our top priority will be to insure a smooth transition for First South customers included in this transaction," said Mike Crapps, First Community’s president and chief executive. "The purchase of these deposits and loans allows First Community to immediately expand our presence in and serve a larger customer base from this key downtown market area."

Such deals normally are priced as a percentage of the deposit base, Crapps said. The transaction, and layering in the deposits and loans, will help First Community’s downtown Columbia office become profitable immediately, he said. It usually takes two to three years for a new banking office to break even, Crapps said.

"We thank these customers for the privilege of serving them,” said First South CEO Barry Slider. “We are confident that First Community will provide them with exceptional customer service and the added convenience of an expanded banking network in the Columbia area."

First Community Bank, founded in 1995, is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Community Corporation. First Community has 14 banking offices in the Midlands, Aiken and Augusta, Ga.

First South Bank, founded in 1996, is a wholly owned subsidiary of First South Bancorp Inc. First South has five banking centers in Spartanburg, East Spartanburg, Greenville, Columbia and Bluffton/Hilton Head.

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