Carolina Trust continues N.C. consolidation wave with Clover deal

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Carolina Trust BancShares in Lincolnton, N.C., has agreed to buy Clover Community Bankshares in Clover, N.C.

The $447 million-asset Carolina Trust said in a press release Friday that it will pay $21.5 million in cash and stock for the $130 million-asset parent of Clover Community Bank. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

"We believe this combination will provide great value for our shareholders, will improve profitability significantly, and will increase our efficiencies,” Jerry Ocheltree, Carolina Trust’s president and CEO, said in the release. “We expect it will better position our company as a profitably growing community bank in the expanding Charlotte metro region.”

Carolina Trust said it expects the deal to be “highly accretive” to its earnings. It should take about three years to earn back any dilution to Carolina Trust’s tangible book value.

One Clover director will join Carolina Trust’s board.

North Carolina has seen a large number of bank acquisitions in recent years, though many have involved out-of-state buyers.

Raymond James and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton advised Carolina Trust. FIG Partners and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough advised Clover.

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