First Bancorp, owner of the largest community bank based in North Carolina, said it is buying Greenville, S.C.-based GrandSouth Bancorp for $181 million in stock. The deal is expected to close by early 2023, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.
The transaction will add eight branches and about $1.3 billion in assets. GrandSouth has branches in South Carolina’s three major markets of Charleston, Columbia and Greenville, plus some smaller cities. Together, the two banks will have $12 billion in assets about $10 billion in deposits.
“GrandSouth is in great communities with talented bankers,” First Bank CEO Mike Mayer, said in a press release. “Our cultures are very similar and we are excited to bring our teams together.”
Southern Pines-based First Bancorp is offering $31.43 per share for GrandSouth. The South Carolina bank’s stock has ranged between $22 and about $30 over the last year. It closed at $27.75 today before the transaction was announced.
GrandSouth was formed in 1998 and has about 200 employees.
First Bank dates to 1935 and now has 110 branches in the Carolinas. It has expanded in recent years in North Carolina’s major markets after traditionally doing most of its business in smaller cities in central North Carolina.