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Banking & Finance

First Citizens Moves Ahead With Acquisition Effort

By Jenny Callison, posted Aug 11, 2017
Following the rebuff of its initial proposal to acquire KS Bancorp, Raleigh-based First Citizens Bancshares has upped its offer and announced it.

When the directors of Smithfield- based KS Bancshares turned down First Citizens’ offer of $33 per share, First Citizens sweetened the pot by offering $35 per share, a transaction valued at about $45.8 million, the release stated. That price, the release stated, represented “a 49.6% premium over KS Bancorp’s closing trading price on July 12, 2017, and a 84% premium over KS Bancorp’s book value per share as of March 31, 2017.”

First Citizens officials said they decided to make the company’s proposal public “in order to inform KS Bancorp’s shareholders of the compelling proposal that would provide immediate liquidity to them at a substantial premium to book value and the market’s assessment of KS Bancorp’s value,” the release stated.

“We are disappointed by KS Bancorp’s rejection of our offer without any discussion, and were surprised that the reason given for this was a contemplated S corporation reorganization that we understand would involve a buyout of a significant number of KS Bancorp shareholders,” Frank Holding Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of First Citizens, said in the release.

First Citizens Bank, the subsidiary of First Citizens Bancorp, operates 14 branches in the Wilmington market and has slightly more than 11 percent of the market share, based on in-market deposits. The bank has assets of about $34 billion and operates in 22 states.

According to its 2016 annual report, KS has assets of nearly $360 million.
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