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Augusta, Columbia banks agree to merger

Wednesday, Aug 14, 2013 5:55 PM
Last updated 8:31 PM
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A publicly-traded Columbia-area bank is acquiring a private Augusta bank for $33.6 million.

First Community Corp. is merging with Savannah River Financial Corp., both companies announced Wednesday, through a cash and stock transaction. The merger agreement has been approved by each company’s board of directors, but still needs to go to shareholders in October and then be approved by banking regulators.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, said Phil Wahl, Augusta market president for Savannah River Banking Co.

First Community Bank has 11 branches in Lexington, Richland, Newberry and Kershaw counties. Savannah River Banking Co. has branches in Augusta and Aiken.

Wahl said the Savannah River board approved the agreement Tuesday. Staffing will remain the same in the newly merged First Community.

The combined company will have approximately $775 million in total assets, $635 million in total deposits and $450 million in total loans.

“Our clients will continue to receive the same high quality level of service from the same bankers that have served them at SRFC. With First Community, we have found a shared passion for our work with local businesses and professionals. This focus will continue and we are looking forward to the additional capacity and product lines that this combination of banks will bring to our clients,” said Savannah River president Jeff Spears, who will become a regional president under the new bank.

Per the merger agreement, 60 percent will be paid in cash and the balance will be in newly issued shares of FCCO common stock. First Community is traded on Nasdaq and closed at $10.31 a share Wednesday.

“This is a comfortable extension of our company into a contiguous county, and beyond into Augusta. The Central Savannah River Area and the midlands of South Carolina have many economic similarities, and both are experiencing nice momentum in business growth,” said First Community President and CEO Michael Crapps.


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