First Bancorp, parent company of Southern Pines-based First Bank, has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire ASB Bancorp Inc. ASB Bancorp is the parent of Asheville Savings Bank, headquartered in Asheville.
The two companies recently announced their plans for the $175 million transaction in a news release.
First Bancorp has assets of about $4.4 million, the release stated. First Bank has the eighth-largest share of the Wilmington area banking market, at nearly 3.8 percent, and operates nine area offices.
In the merger, First Bancorp will acquire Asheville Savings Bank’s 13 locations in western North Carolina. These locations complement First Bank’s existing three branches in the Asheville market, according to the release, which added that Asheville Savings Bank reported assets of $803 million, gross loans of $606 million and deposits of $682 million as of March 31.
“Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company will have approximately $5.2 billion in assets, $3.9 billion in loans and $4.3 billion in deposits,” the release stated. “This transaction represents a strategic and financially attractive combination for both companies’ shareholders and will solidify First Bank’s position as one of the top community banks in North Carolina.”
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