WOODSTOCK, Ga., Nov. 16, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Brian D. Schmitt, Chief Executive Officer of SouthCrest Financial Group, Inc. (SCSG:PK), announced today that the company has reached agreement for the sale of its two branches in Alabama and all related deposits and assets to Guardian Credit Union, a respected Alabama consumer financial services cooperative. The sale, expected to close in early 2017, subject to regulatory approval, will strengthen the Alabama asset portfolio of Guardian Credit Union while supporting SouthCrest Financial Group's strategic plan to grow its private business banking operations in the Atlanta region. "It's a win-win for the two financial institutions and the two markets in which they focus their operations," said Schmitt. "And, our employees and managers will be joining one of the most successful, distinguished and admired credit unions in the South." Schmitt, a veteran banker known for planning and executing successful growth initiatives, said the sale of the two branches is a key element of SouthCrest Financial Group's long-term strategy to become a dominant provider of commercial banking services in the sprawling Atlanta metropolitan region. "We are pleased to be acquiring two branches from a bank that has similar values and culture," said Heath Harrell, President and CEO of Guardian Credit Union. "We are excited to join with like-minded employees and customers in Chilton County, as this is a win for all employees, customers, members and the community. The acquisition furthers our growth strategy and positions us as a premier credit union in Central Alabama." Guardian will pay a 5% deposit premium on the total deposits transferred, which are expected to be about $45 million, and purchase over $6 million worth of loans. FIG Partners advised SouthCrest with this transaction. Michael M. Bell, Esq. of Howard & Howard Attorneys, PLLC advised Guardian with this transaction.