CHARLOTTE, N.C. and ROCK HILL, S.C., March 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Park Sterling Corporation (Nasdaq:PSTB) ("Park Sterling"), the holding company for Park Sterling Bank, and Provident Community Bancshares, Inc. (OTCBB:PCBS) ("Provident Community"), the holding company for Provident Community Bank, N.A., announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which Park Sterling will acquire Provident Community for a total transaction value of approximately $6.5 million. Merger consideration will include: (i) $0.78 per share, or approximately $1.4 million, in cash to common stockholders for all of the outstanding common stock, and (ii) $550 per share, or approximately $5.1 million, in cash to the United States Department of the Treasury ("Treasury") for all of the outstanding Fixed Rate Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series A (the "Series A Preferred Stock"). The purchase price for the Series A Preferred Stock represents a 45%, or $4.2 million, discount from its face value of $1,000 per share. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will have approximately $2.3 billion in total assets, $1.9 billion in total deposits, $1.4 billion in total loans, and a network of 54 offices in the Carolinas, Virginia and North Georgia. The merger will strengthen Park Sterling's position as the largest community bank in the Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia MSA, which includes Rock Hill, Provident Community's home market, according to the most recently available deposit market share data, with pro forma growth from 17 to 20 branches and from $876 million to $929 million in total deposits (source: SNL Financial; June 30, 2013). The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company. Closing of the transaction, which is expected to occur in the second quarter of 2014, is subject to customary conditions, including approval by Provident Community's common stockholders, completion of the purchase of the Series A Preferred Stock from Treasury and receipt of regulatory approval. At closing, Provident Community will merge with and into Park Sterling and, as soon as practicable following the closing, it is anticipated that Provident Community Bank, N.A. will merge with and into Park Sterling Bank.