Carolina Alliance Bank (CRLN) in Spartanburg, S.C., has agreed to buy Forest Commercial Bank in Asheville, N.C.

Carolina Alliance, which has $243 million in assets, will exchange about 0.8 shares of its stock for each outstanding share of the $143 million-asset Forest Commercial. The companies did not provide a value for the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter.

Carolina Alliance will have $277 million in loans and $314 million in deposits when it completes the acquisition. Carolina Alliance also said that it expects to cut overall noninterest expenses by 8% to 10% after completed the acquisition.

John Poole will remain Carolina Alliance's chief executive. John Kimberly, Forest Commercial's president and CEO, will become president.

"Carolina Alliance and Forest Commercial are young, healthy, and growing banks," Poole said in a press release Thursday. "Merging these financially sound institutions seems to be such a natural fit. … Since there is no market overlap and since we both are growing, we anticipate little, if any, loss of personnel in either of the banks as a result of the merger."

Carolina Alliance was advised by FIG Partners and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. Forest Commercial was advised by Banks Street Partners and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton.

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