First Citizens of NC buying First Citizens in SC

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News,Business

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — First Citizens Bank of North Carolina is buying First Citizens Bank and Trust in South Carolina.

First Citizens will become the sixth-largest bank headquartered in the Southeast with 575 branches in 18 states and the District of Columbia.

The agreement by the Raleigh bank and the Columbia, South Carolina, bank is technically a merger. It's valued between $637 million and $676 million.

The combined banks will have nearly $31 billion in total assets. They will have $26 billion in deposits and $18 billion in loans.

Raleigh's First Citizens is a publicly traded bank, but the Holding family owns a controlling interest. The Holding family also owns a controlling interest in the South Carolina bank.

The Raleigh bank's Chairman and CEO Frank Holding Jr. will lead the combined operations.

Jim Apple, chairman and CEO of the South Carolina bank, plans to retire once the deal is finished, likely in the fall.

"Our similar cultures, values and business philosophies make this transaction a natural fit," Holding said in a prepared statement.

The South Carolina bank's branches are in South Carolina and Georgia. The Raleigh-based bank also has offices in Georgia.

Spokeswoman Angela English said there is little overlap in branch locations.

English said the merger could benefit customers by giving them a broader network of branches and ATMs, and a more comprehensive range of products and services.

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