Heritage Financial Group (NASDAQ: HBOS), the mid-tier holding company for HeritageBank of the South, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase five bank branches – all in Georgia – from PAB Bankshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: PABK), the Valdosta, Georgia-based holding company for The Park Avenue Bank. These branches are located in Statesboro (2), Baxley, Hazlehurst, and Adel.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2010, subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions, is expected to result in the transfer of approximately $52 million in loans and approximately $72 million in deposits, including all demand deposits, savings accounts, and money market accounts. HeritageBank of the South also is expected to assume approximately $26 million in certificates of deposit maturing within 45 days of date of closing. In addition to purchasing the five branch offices, HeritageBank of the South also expects to retain the employees currently working in those branches.

Commenting on the announcement, Leonard Dorminey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Financial Group, said, "We are pleased to announce the proposed purchase of these five branches, a transaction that is attractive to us for a number of reasons. First, it continues our process of deploying our strong capital base to expand prudently to new markets and enhancing our prospects for future growth. Second, four of these new locations are in Southeast Georgia, which complements our footprint in the area created by our December 2009 acquisition of the Tattnall Bank in an FDIC-assisted transaction. The Adel location, while also adding to our Southwest Georgia presence, serves a dual purpose in helping to fill in our footprint between Albany and Ocala, Florida, an effort that commenced last year with our purchase of a branch in Lake City, Florida. Lastly, this transaction provides us with a significant source of low cost core deposits.