Tuesday, June 21, 2022

First Bancorp in NC to buy GrandSouth in SC

First Bancorp in Southern Pines, N.C., has agreed to buy GrandSouth Bancorp. in Greenville, S.C. 

The $10.5 billion-asset First Bancorp said in a press release Tuesday that it will pay $181.1 million in stock for the $1.3 billion-asset GrandSouth. The deal, which is expected to close late this year or in early 2023, priced GrandSouth at 180% of its tangible book value.

GrandSouth has eight branches, $900 million of loans, and $1.1 billion of deposits. It also has a specialty floor plan lending business that operates in the Southeast and Midwest.

"GrandSouth is in great communities with talented bankers," Mike Mayer, First Bancorp’s president, said in the release. "Our cultures are very similar and we are excited to bring our teams together."

James Schwiers, GrandSouth's president, will become president of South Carolina banking at First Bancorp. Two GrandSouth directors will join First Bancorp's board.

First Bancorp expects to incur $15 million of merger-related charges. The company plans to cut about 30% of GrandSouth's annual noninterest expenses.

The deal is expected to deliver high-single-digit accretion to First Bancorp's earnings per share once fully phased in. It should take about three years for First Bancorp to earn back any dilution to its tangible book value.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard advised First Bancorp. Piper Sandler and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough advised GrandSouth.

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