MONROE, N.C. -- First Union Corp. has agreed to acquire $243 million-asset American Bancshares, the parent corporation of American Commercial Savings Bank, in a stock swap.

The agreement provides for the issuance of 0.21 1 shares of Charlotte-based First Union's common stock for each of the approximately 2.3 million shares of Monroe-based American Bancshares' common stock, subject to adjustment.

The transaction, which will be accounted for as a pooling of interests, is expected to close in the first half of 1994, subject to American Bancshares stockholder approval, regulatory approval, and other closing conditions.

First Union was granted an option to purchase up to 443,700 shares of American Bancshares common stock, at a price per share of $7.50.

American Commercial has $189 million in loans and $216 million in deposits.

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