RALEIGH and ENGELHARD, N.C., April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Crescent Financial Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: CRFN) and ECB Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE MKT: ECBE) announced today the closing of their previously-announced merger. The parties also announced the merger of their subsidiary banks, VantageSouth Bank and The East Carolina Bank. The combined bank will operate as VantageSouth Bank. "The East Carolina Bank team has built a strong bank with a great reputation and excellent market share," said Scott Custer, CEO, Crescent Financial Bancshares, Inc. "The combined bank is the leading North Carolina community bank from the central Piedmont to the coast, and our customers will find that we are everything they expect from a bank and much more." The combined company has approximately $2.0 billion in total assets, $1.7 billion in total deposits, $1.2 billion in total loans, and an expanded network of ATMs and 45 branches reaching across North Carolina. "We are pleased to join such a dynamic and financially strong banking company," said A. Dwight Utz, president and CEO of ECB Bancorp, Inc. "Together we will create value for our shareholders and enable our employees to do what they do best - deliver exceptional service to our customers and contribute to the success of the communities where they live and work." Under the terms of the merger agreement, shareholders of ECB Bancorp, Inc. will receive 3.55 shares of CRFN for each share of ECBE common stock. ECB Bancorp shareholders will receive information shortly on how to exchange their ECB Bancorp shares for shares of Crescent Financial Bancshares. East Carolina Bank branches will begin operating under the VantageSouth brand at the end of April. "The bank's name is changing, but our people are not," said Utz. "Our customers will continue to work with bankers who they know and trust, and the combined bank will have more resources. Whether customers are interested in expanding their business or planning for their retirement, we can provide the financial solutions that best fit their needs."