Carolina Financial in S.C. is latest out-of-state bank to expand in North Carolina

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Carolina Financial in Charleston, S.C., has agreed to buy First South Bancorp in Washington, N.C.

The 2.2 billion-asset Carolina Financial said in a press release Monday that it will pay $162 million in stock for the $1 billion-asset First South. The deal, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, prices First South at 192% of its tangible book value.

First South has 28 branches, $730 million in loans and $920 million in deposits.

“We are excited about the opportunity to enhance our scale in North Carolina and to enter Raleigh and Durham, two of the fastest-growing markets in the Southeast,” Jerry Rexroad, Carolina Financial’s CEO, said in the release.

Bruce Elder, First South’s president and CEO, would become president of North Carolina banking for Carolina Financial’s bank.

Carolina First said it expects low-double-digit accretion to its 2019 earnings per share. It should take less than two and a half years to earn back the deal's dilution to Carolina First's tangible book value.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough advised Carolina Financial. Raymond James and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton advised First South.

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