HCBF Holding in Fort Pierce, Fla., has agreed to buy Highlands Independent Bancshares in Sebring, Fla. 

The companies did not disclose a price, though they expect to complete the transaction in the fourth quarter. The deal, announced Thursday, adds $250 million in assets and six branches to HCBF’s Harbor Community Bank unit. 

The deal deepens Harbor’s presence in central Florida. The company said in a press release that John Shoop, Highlands’ chief executive, would serve as market president in Highlands County.

The deal is the second transaction HCBF has announced in recent weeks. Harbor said in late April that it would pick up $115 million in loans, $239 million in deposits and nine branches around Orlando from Popular (BPOP), as the Puerto Rican bank looks to scale back its operations in the continental United States. 

The two deals would bring the $627 million-asset Harbor close to $1 billion in assets, an important demarcation where some banks say that can achieve adequate scale to compete. For privately held banks, it is often the minimum size needed to successfully take their company public. 

Harbor is led by the team that ran Harbor Florida Bancshares, which was sold to National City in 2006. Led by Michael Brown Sr., the team reemerged in 2010 with $330 million in capital to build a Florida community bank.

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