Carolina Financial in Charleston, S.C., has agreed to buy Greer Bancshares in South Carolina.

The $1.7 billion-asset Carolina Financial said in a press release Tuesday that it will pay $45.1 million, or $18 a share, in cash and stock for the $381 million-asset Greer. The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter, values Greer at 163% of its tangible book value.

Greer has four branches, $211 million in loans and $296 million in deposits around Greenville, S.C.

"The upstate South Carolina market continues to be a growing and dynamic market, and we are excited to expand our current franchise further into" that area, Jerry Rexroad, Carolina Financial's chief executive, said in the release.

Carolina Financial said it expects the deal to be immediately accretive to its earnings per share, excluding $3.6 million in expected acquisition costs. It should take the company less than 2.5 years to earn back the deal's dilution to its tangible book value.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough advised Carolina Financial. Raymond James and Wyche advised Greer.

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