First Horizon National in Memphis, Tenn., has agreed to buy TrustAtlantic Financial in Raleigh, N.C.

The $24 billion-asset First Horizon will pay $80 million in cash and stock, or $17 a share, for the $453 million-asset TrustAtlantic. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of next year.

TrustAtlantic was formed in mid-2007 after a group bought and substantially capitalized Millennia Community Bank in Greenville, N.C. It moved the bank to Raleigh, which is home to a number of research and technology firms. First Horizon, meanwhile, has several commercial lending offices across North Carolina.

TrustAtlantic has $326 million in loans and four branches around Raleigh. (The company also has a branch in Greenville.)

"The vibrant communities in North Carolina and the attractive relationships TrustAtlantic has developed make this an exciting partnership for First Tennessee and First Horizon," Bryan Jordan, First Horizon's chairman and chief executive, said in a press release Wednesday. "This acquisition provides an important expansion in the state's Research Triangle region, one of the most attractive markets in the Southeast."

Jim Beck, TrustAtlantic's president and chief executive, will join the leadership team of First Horizon's Mid-Atlantic region as Triangle market president, overseeing commercial banking and branch operations. Ken Reece, First Horizon's current Raleigh market leader, will take on an expanded role managing private banking and wealth management in the area.

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz served as legal counsel to First Horizon. FIG Partners and Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton advised TrustAtlantic.

Jordan, a North Carolina native, has been talking more about the possibility of acquisitions. First Horizon agreed earlier this year to buy 13 Bank of America branches in Tennessee.

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