Georgia's Century South Banks Inc. said it has a deal to buy Gainesville, Ga.-based Lanier Bankshares for $39 million in stock.

The $1.2 billion-asset company, which operates from split headquarters in Dahlonega and Macon, intends to merge Lanier's bank subsidiary into its own Georgia First Bank, also based in Gainesville. Combined, the subsidiary would have $300 million of assets and would rank third in deposit share in its native Hall County, the company said last week.

Following the merger, Joseph D. Chipman Jr., president and chief executive officer of $115 million-asset Lanier, would assume those roles at Georgia First Bank.

Century South is parent of 11 banks in three states. It also has a deal to buy Haywood Bancshares in Waynesville, N.C., which would be its entry to that state.

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