Heritage Financial (HBOS) in Albany, Ga., has agreed to buy Alarion Financial Services in Ocala, Fla.

Heritage will pay about $22 million in stock for the $283 million-asset Alarion in a deal it expects will be immediately accretive to earnings per share, excluding merger-related expenses. Alarion also has six branches, $200 million in loans and $241 million in deposits.

The $1.4 billion-asset Heritage said it expects to complete the acquisition in the third quarter. The company said affiliates of Jacobs Asset Management, which has investments in both companies, will exchange about $3.5 million of Alarion preferred stock, along with accrued but unpaid dividends, for roughly 178,000 shares of Heritage common stock.

"As we look at this opportunity to continue to deploy capital, we see a good cultural and operational fit between our organizations, which should result in a smooth integration," Leonard Dorminey, Heritage's president and chief executive, said in a press release. "This transaction will greatly increase our footprint in north central Florida, expanding our presence in the Ocala market and providing us with an initial entry into the Gainesville area."

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Bryan Cave advised Heritage. Banks Street Partners and Adams & Reese advised Alarion.

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