Former mutual to buy bigger bank in Atlanta

Register now

Community First Bancshares in Covington, Ga., has agreed to buy ABB Financial Group in Atlanta.

The $305 million-asset Community First, the holding company for Newton Federal Bank, said in a press release Tuesday that it will pay $40.3 million in cash for the $308 million-asset parent of Affinity Bank. The deal is expected to close in the fourth or first quarter.

Community First, a former mutual, held an initial public offering in 2017.

Community First said in the release that it expects to deal to be “meaningfully accretive” to its 2020 earnings per share, excluding merger-related expenses. It should take a little more than three years for Community First to earn back any dilution to its tangible book value.

“This transaction marks an important milestone for Newton Federal … as we continue to position our organization as a premier Atlanta community bank,” Billy Fortson, Community First’s chairman, said in the release.

“ABB brings an attractive customer base and an energetic banking team that, combined with our wonderful team … will offer a best-of-class banking experience for current and prospective customers,” Fortson added. “Our partnership will also contribute to attracting talented, Atlanta-area bankers to further our growth strategy and reward shareholders with strong performance.”

Ed Cooney, ABB’s CEO, will become Community First’s CEO. Johnny Smith will remain Community First’s president.

Community First was advised by Banks Street Partners and Luse Gorman. ABB was advised by RP Financial and Miller & Martin.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.