First Bancorp in Southern Pines, N.C., has agreed to buy ASB Bancorp in Asheville, N.C.

The $4.4 billion-asset First Bancorp said in a press release Monday that it will pay $175 million in cash and stock for the $803 million-asset parent of Asheville Savings Bank. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

ASB has 13 branches, $606 million in loans and $682 million in deposits.

Richard Moore, CEO of First BanCorp
First Bancorp, led by CEO Richard Moore, has been an active acquirer in North Carolina at a time when other banks have become sellers.

"We are very excited to be partnering with [ASB] and increasing our footprint in the attractive Asheville market," Richard Moore, First Bancorp’s CEO, said in the release.

Suzanne DeFerie, ASB’s president and CEO, will join First Bancorp’s board and will have a market leadership position.

First Bancorp has been an acquirer in North Carolina at a time when other banks in the state, including BNC Bancorp, Yadkin Financial, Park Sterling and Paragon Commercial, have agreed to be sold. First Bancorp recently acquired Carolina Bank Holdings in Greensboro, N.C.

RBC Capital Markets and Brooks Pierce McLendon Humphrey & Leonard advised First Bancorp. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough advised ASB.

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