SRP FCU To Acquire Southern Bank

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Harry Gunsallus



NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C.—The $851-million SRP FCU here has agreed to acquire the $80-million Southern Bank, based in Sardis, Ga.

The deal has been approved by the boards of both institutions. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2018, following approval from state and national regulators and bank shareholders.

"We are delighted that Southern Bank has agreed to join with SRP Federal Credit Union, to help strengthen and expand our presence in the thriving (Central Savannah River Area) region," said Harry Gunsallus, president and CEO of SRP. "We admire Southern Bank's high-level of personalized service, focus on improving the communities they serve and the commitment they have to doing what is best for their customers. This service commitment is the same model that we live by every day. This is an exciting opportunity for both organizations, our collective customers and our dedicated teams. We believe that Southern Bank's five branches are a perfect fit for our Georgia growth plan and there is no overlap of existing SRP locations. Southern Bank is a healthy, well-run bank with an experienced staff that when joined with our staff, product mix and technology offerings we believe will immediately make the combined organization a major player in this market."

The acquisition will bring SRP’s branch total to 20 across South Carolina and Georgia.

“We are excited to join the SRP Team,” said Preston Conner, CEO of Southern Bank. “We are extremely proud of the relationships we have built at Southern Bank and I a

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Michael Bell

m convinced this partnership will significantly benefit our customers, our employees and the communities that we serve.”

Southern Bank has been marginally profitable this year, showing $260,000 in net income through September, according to the FDIC website. Last year the bank made $468,000.

The pace of CU/bank buys has heated up as the year closes. Earlier this month, the $2.3-billion Georgia’s Own Credit Union reached an agreement to buy $90-million State Bank of Georgia, based in Fayetteville, Ga.

Michael Bell, attorney and counselor with Royal-Oak, Mich.-based Howard & Howard, is representing Georgia’s Own Credit Union and SRP. Bell has been part of 18 CU/bank deals, including two mergers of a bank into a credit union.

“The pace of these deals continues to quicken and I expect that more transactions will be announced before year end,” said Bell. “Credit unions see the benefit of non-organic growth and banks see the benefits of selling to an all-cash credit union buyer.”

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