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.
"We've provided financial services in North Carolina for 115 years," Holding said. "Customers value our personal service, our dedication to soundness and the full range of products and services we offer. We expect to enhance our footprint in western N.C., establish new relationships and create an even stronger bank for those we serve."Michael G. Mayer, CEO of 1 st Financial and Mountain 1 st, said: "We welcome the opportunity to merge into First Citizens. Our companies have a shared commitment to providing outstanding service and building strong relationships in the communities we serve. Customers will benefit from First Citizens' century-long dedication to safety and stability, a more robust line of products and a greater overall capacity to serve their financial needs. It is an attractive agreement for our company and our constituents." Sandler O'Neill + Partners L.P. acted as financial advisor and rendered a fairness opinion to the Board of Directors of 1 st Financial Services Corp. in connection with this transaction. Additional Information In connection with the proposed merger, 1 st Financial Services Corp.will file a proxy statement to be sent to each of its shareholders, and 1 st Financial Services Corp. may file other relevant documents concerning the merger with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). SHAREHOLDERS ARE URGED TO READ THE PROXY STATEMENT REGARDING THE MERGER WHEN IT BECOMES AVAILABLE AND ANY OTHER RELEVANT DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC, AS WELL AS ANY AMENDMENTS OR SUPPLEMENTS TO THOSE DOCUMENTS, BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Shareholders will be able to obtain a free copy of the proxy statement, as well as other filings containing information about 1 st Financial Services Corp., at the SEC's website ( http:// www.sec.gov ). Shareholders will also be able to obtain these documents, free of charge, by accessing 1 st Financial Services Corp.'s website ( http:// www.mountain1st.com ). 1 st Financial Services Corp . and its directors and executive officers may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies from the shareholders of 1 st Financial Services Corp . in connection with the merger. Information about the directors and executive officers of 1 st Financial Services Corp . is set forth in the proxy statement for 1 st Financial Services Corp.'s 2013 annual meeting of shareholders, as filed with the SEC on April 30, 2013. Additional information regarding the interests of those participants and other persons who may be deemed participants in the transaction may be obtained by reading the proxy statement regarding the merger when it becomes available. Shareholders may obtain free copies of these documents as described above. About First Citizens Bank Founded in 1898, First Citizens Bank is a major subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares Inc. (Nasdaq:FCNCA), which has $21 billion in assets. First Citizens Bank provides a broad range of financial services to individuals, businesses, professionals and the medical community through a network of branch offices, telephone banking, mobile banking, online banking at firstcitizens.com and ATMs. Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., First Citizens Bank today has 402 offices in 17 states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia) and the District of Columbia. The bank is the recipient of multiple national awards for customer satisfaction and overall stability and security. First Citizens was named the best midsize regional bank in the country in the MONEY ® Best Banks 2012 list.* For more information, call toll free 1-888-FC DIRECT (1-888-323-4732) or visit the website. About 1 st Financial Services Corporation and Mountain 1 st Bank 1 st Financial Services Corporation is a public company, the common stock of which is traded on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol "FFIS." Mountain 1 st Bank was chartered on April 30, 2004, and opened for business May 14, 2004, in Hendersonville, N.C., where Mountain 1 st Bank and 1 st Financial Services Corp. are headquartered. Mountain 1 st has 12 branches in nine western North Carolina counties. For more information, visit www.mountain1st.com. * From MONEY Magazine, October 2012 © 2012 Time Inc. MONEY is a registered trademark of Time Inc. and is used under license. MONEY and Time Inc. are not affiliated with, and do not endorse products or services of, Licensee.
CONTACT: Barbara Thompson First Citizens Bank 919.716.2716 Michael Mayer 1st Financial Services Corp. 828.697.3100