BankFIRST, a subsidiary of Florida-based BANKshares, has signed a definitive agreement and plan of merger to acquire all of the outstanding common stock of East Coast Community Bank, a subsidiary of Florida-based The Commercial Bancorp.

Under the agreement, the holders of the outstanding common shares of The Commercial Bancorp will be paid in a combination of cash, stock and a contingent cash payment based upon the performance of East Coast’s loan portfolio following the merger.

Rafael Ramirez the president and CEO of East Coast Community Bank will become president, Volusia County for BankFIRST with responsibilities to expand the bank’s Volusia County market presence.

Kevin Bowler, director of East Coast Community Bank and president of Daytona Beverages will join the BankFIRST board of directors.

Simultaneously with the completion of the acquisition, East Coast Community Bank will be merged with and into BankFIRST.

BankFIRST president and CEO Donald McGowan said the acquisition of East Coast Community Bank provides BankFIRST with a new presence in this market.

BankFIRST chairman James Barnes said the addition of approximately $81m in deposits and two branch locations in Ormond Beach and Port Orange further enhance the bank’s greater Central Florida footprint.

On a September 30, 2010 pro forma basis with The Commercial Bancorp, BankFIRST would have approximately $695m in assets.