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First Citizens Bank And 1st Financial Services Corporation Announce Merger Agreement

Stocks in this article: FCNCA

RALEIGH and HENDERSONVILLE, N.C., Aug. 28, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- First-Citizens Bank & Trust Company (known as First Citizens Bank) and 1 st Financial Services Corporation announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement. 1 st Financial Services Corp. provides commercial banking products and services through its subsidiary, Mountain 1 st Bank & Trust Company.

1st Financial Services Corp. logo

This agreement provides for the merger of Hendersonville, N.C.-based 1 st Financial Services Corp. and Mountain 1 st Bank into First Citizens Bank, which is headquartered in Raleigh, N.C. The announcement was made jointly by Frank B. Holding Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of First Citizens Bank, and Michael G. Mayer, chief executive officer of 1 st Financial Services Corp. and Mountain 1 st Bank.

The agreement has been approved by the Boards of Directors of all three companies. The transaction is expected to close no later than the first quarter of 2014, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and the approval of 1 st Financial Services Corp. shareholders.

Under the terms of the agreement, cash consideration of $10 million will be split between the U.S. Treasury, which will receive $8 million of the cash consideration in order for 1 st Financial Services Corp. to exit from the federal TARP program, and common shareholders of 1 st Financial Services Corp., who will receive $2 million.

1 st Financial Services Corp. operates 12 branches in western North Carolina communities through Mountain 1 st Bank, with $692 million in assets, $669 million in deposits and $363 million in loans as of June 30, 2013. The Mountain 1 st branches are located in Asheville, Brevard, Columbus, Etowah, Fletcher, Forest City, Hendersonville (two branches), Hickory, Marion, Shelby and Waynesville. Customers should bank as they normally do at their existing branches. Pending completion of the merger, Mountain 1 st Bank branch offices will open as First Citizens Bank branches.

Frank B. Holding Jr., chairman and CEO of First Citizens, said: "This agreement is a significant opportunity for us to expand our presence in our home state of North Carolina. We currently have a vibrant branch network and customer base throughout western North Carolina, and we look forward to the prospects of building on this foundation in an important market for us.

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