The transaction, which is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, will support United’s further expansion into South-eastern markets in the US


United to merge with Progress Bank. (Credit: aymane jdidi from Pixabay)

United Community Banks has executed a definitive merger agreement to acquire Progress Financial (Progress) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Progress Bank & Trust, for around $271.5m.

The all-stock transaction is valued at around $271.5m, or $23.52 per share of Progress common stock, based on United’s closing stock price of $30.55 on 3 May 2022.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Progress shareholders are eligible to receive 0.77 shares of United common stock for each share of Progress common stock held.

The transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both parties, is expected to United’s further expansion into South-eastern markets in the US.

It is anticipated to close in the fourth quarter of 2022, subject to certain customary conditions, including regulatory approval and the approval of Progress’ shareholders.

United chairman and chief executive officer Lynn Harton said: “We believe Progress and United to be a great cultural fit and are excited to join forces in Alabama and the Florida panhandle.

“Progress bankers and their customers will benefit from the expanded products and resources that we are able to bring to the table. Progress footprint will complement our existing markets and be accretive to our franchise value.

“We have been investing in Birmingham over the past several years and have SBA and Senior Care teams already in place. I am looking forward to bringing Progress into the United team.”

Progress operates through 14 office locations in the south-eastern markets, including, Huntsville, Birmingham, Daphne and Tuscaloosa in Alabama and the Florida Panhandle.

The company had total assets worth $1.9bn, total loans valuing $1.3bn, and total deposits of $1.7bn, as of 31 March 2022.

Through its Progress Financial Services division, which has around $1.2bn in assets under management, it offers wealth management and private banking products.

Progress is supported by an experienced management team and is focused on organic growth by hiring and developing skilled commercial and mortgage banking teams.

Piper Sandler & Co. served as a financial advisor and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough as a legal advisor to United on the transaction. Stephens served as a financial advisor and Maynard Cooper Gale as a legal advisor to Progress.

Progress president and chief executive officer David Nast said: “I would like to thank the dedicated employees of Progress that have elevated our franchise over the past several years to one of the best performing banks in our region.

“I am proud of the company we have built together and believe that a partnership with United represents an excellent opportunity for us to continue to serve our customers at the highest level.

“We also greatly value United’s commitment to communities because that has always been a big part of our Progress culture.”