ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. - Centura Banks Inc. said it has agreed to acquire First Charlotte Financial Corp.

Centura would gain $168 million of assets and five offices in Charlotte, where it needs a presence "to be a truly effective statewide bank," said Robert R. Mauldin, chairman and president.

Centura has $3.2 billion of assets, 136 North Carolina offices, and mergers pending with three thrifts. The company expects to close the First Charlotte transaction by yearend, paying 0.627 Centura common share, worth about $13.17, for each First Charlotte share.

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