The combined company is anticipated to have more than $12bn in assets, $7bn in loans, and $10bn in deposits, after the completion of the transaction


First Bank branch in southeast Wilmington. (Credit: RadioKAOS/Wikipedia)

First Bancorp, the holding company of First Bank, has agreed to acquire GrandSouth Bancorporation, the parent company of GrandSouth Bank, in an all-stock transaction valued at $181.1m.

Under the terms of the deal, GrandSouth shareholders are expected to receive 0.910 shares of First Bancorp common stock for each GrandSouth common share held.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies.

It is expected to be completed in the late fourth quarter of this year, or early first quarter of 2023, subject to customary conditions, including regulatory and shareholders’ approval.

Upon closing of the transaction, the combined company is anticipated to have more than $12bn in assets, $7bn in loans, and $10bn in deposits.

First Bank president and CEO Mike Mayer said: “GrandSouth is in great communities with talented bankers. Our cultures are very similar and we are excited to bring our teams together.”

GrandSouth currently operates eight bank branches across important towns and cities in South Carolina.

The bank offers a wide range of financial services to individuals and small and medium-sized businesses and had assets valuing $1.3bn as of 31 March 2022.

First Bancorp said that it focuses on small business banking, and the acquisition of GrandSouth will provide an opportunity to advance its plans to expand in South Carolina.

GrandSouth president and director JB Schwiers said: “We have long admired First Bancorp, and our combined company will be positioned to capitalise on an enhanced presence in exceptional markets, talent, and financial strength.”

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods served as a financial advisor, and Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard provided legal counsel to First Bancorp on the transaction.

Also, Piper Sandler & Co. served as a financial advisor and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough acted as legal counsel to GrandSouth.

First Bancorp is based in Southern Pines, North Carolina, with total assets of about $10.5bn as of 31 March 2022.