It has been a topsy-turvy 12 months for ECB Bancorp in Engelhard, N.C., though the company's decision to sell may provide it with more stability.

Crescent Financial (CRFN) in Raleigh, N.C., announced on Tuesday that it would buy the $917 million-asset ECB (ECBE) for $51.6 million in stock. At $17.75 a share, the deal is priced at 77% of tangible book value. ECB shareholders would receive 3.55 shares of Crescent stock.

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