Colonial Bancgroup Inc. of Montgomery, Ala., announced two deals Monday that would boost its assets in Florida to $4 billion.

It has agreed to buy $290 million-asset Manufacturers Bank of Florida, based in Tampa, for $55.7 million in stock, and 13 branches, nine of them in the Tampa area and the rest in Alabama, from Union Planters Corp. of Memphis.

Flake Oakley, chief financial officer of $12.5 billion-asset Colonial, said completion of the deals will "take us to a new level. This represents a perfect fit for Colonial in the Tampa area."

Colonial would have 21 branches in the Tampa market and about $850 million of total assets there upon completing the purchases. That would make it the fifth-largest bank in Hillsborough County.

"We are very focused on expanding our presence in Florida," Mr. Oakley said.

The key to doing that, he said, will be to keep management and service in Florida, a market Colonial entered in 1996 by purchasing 14 community banks.

Its 243-branch network also includes Georgia, Tennessee, and Texas.

It did not give a price for the branch deal with Union Planters. That deal is to close in the third quarter and the Manufacturers Bank deal in the fourth quarter.

Like many others, Colonial has struggled lately with its mortgage business.

In early 2000 it sold $9 billion of mortgage servicing rights to an unnamed buyer, retaining a servicing portfolio of $5 billion made up mostly of loans generated in its branches.

Colonial sold the rights after homeowners delayed paying off their mortgages early because of rising interest rates. As a result, Colonial had to write down $40.2 million in mortgage-servicing rights and acquisition-related charges.

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