Carolina Financial makes bigger inland push with latest bank purchase

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Carolina Financial in Charleston, S.C., has agreed to buy Carolina Trust BancShares in Lincolnton, N.C.

The $3.9 billion-asset Carolina Financial said in a press release Monday that it will pay $100.1 million in cash and stock for the $621 million-asset Carolina Trust. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

Carolina Trust has 11 branches, $474 million in loans and $523 million in deposits.

“This transaction allows for Carolina Financial to deepen its market presence in North Carolina,” Jerry Rexroad, Carolina Financial’s CEO, said in the release. “Carolina Trust represents the best opportunity … to expand our footprint in these markets.”

Jerry Ocheltree, Carolina Trust’s president and CEO, will become president of North Carolina commercial banking operations for Carolina Financial’s CresCom Bank. Johnathan Rhyne, the chairman of Carolina Trust’s board, will join Carolina Financial’s board.

Carolina Financial was advised by Sandler O’Neill and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough. Carolina Trust was advised by Raymond James and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton.

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