GAINSESVILLE, Ga. -- First Citizens Bancorp of Cherokee County Inc. said it has agreed to merge into First National Bancorp of Gainesville, Ga.

The letter of intent calls for a tax-free exchange of the common stock of First Citizens Bancorp, which owns the $74 million-asset Citizens Bank of Ball Ground.

First National Bancorp has doubled it assests in five years, to $1.8 billion, and has increased from eight affiliate banks to 12.

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