Jacksonville Bancorp Inc.'s deal to acquire a fellow Florida company, Heritage Bancshares Inc. in Orange Park, was called off Tuesday because both said it no longer made sense for their shareholders.

The pair announced in January that the $410 million-asset Jacksonville had agreed to buy the $173 million-asset Heritage for $30.2 million in cash and stock. It would have been the first acquisition for Jacksonville, which was founded nine years ago.

Jacksonville's shares have lost more than one-fifth of their value since the deal was announced, and the privately held Heritage has reported a sharp increase in loan delinquencies. Its noncurrent loans soared to 8.72% of total loans at March 31, from 0% a year earlier.

Randolph L. Knepper, Heritage's president and chief executive officer, said in Tuesday's news release, "Due to the challenges of the current economy and issues facing the financial industry, both banks believed that remaining separate was in our best interests at this time."

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