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First Bancshares, Inc., Announces Signing Of A Definitive Agreement To Acquire First National Bank Of Baldwin County

Executives of The First Bancshares, Inc. (Nasdaq: FBMS), announced today that The First Bancshares, Inc. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire First National Bank of Baldwin County.

The First (a national banking association, a subsidiary of First Bancshares, Inc.) President & CEO M. Ray “Hoppy” Cole Jr., said, “From day one our focus has been on growing our bank in the gulf coast region, and providing customers a true community bank with personal service. We are excited about expanding our services to south Alabama and growing with this dynamic area .

The definitive agreement that was announced today will expand The First across the gulf coast providing five new branches and our customers a total of 23 convenient locations from Mississippi, Louisiana to south Alabama.

Upon completion of the transaction the First will grow to approximately $905 million in assets and approximately $780 million in deposits.

W. Wade Neth, President & CEO of First National Bank of Baldwin County, said, “We look forward to joining The First team in continuing the tradition of providing great personal customer service, community-oriented banking products and services, and the local business market experience through our longtime professional bankers. By combining our resources, we’ll have even greater opportunities to serve the credit needs of our local businesses and individuals.”

Part of the acquisition process involves the First National Bank of Baldwin County’s holding company First Baldwin Bancshares Inc. filing for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy court. This plan of reorganization will have NO effect on the operations of First National Bank of Baldwin County, or any impact on its bank customers or depositors, and clears the way for First Bancshares to complete the acquisition subject to regulatory approval.

Safe, sound, quality growth is the major component of The First’s business strategy. And, that is why even in the midst of the most turbulent economic times, The First has continued to achieve 52 consecutive quarters of profitability. It is because of this commitment that The First earned a 5 Star Rating (the highest given) by Bauer Financial, “the nation’s bank rating service.”

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