Heritage Bankshares in Norfolk, Va., has exited the Small Business Lending Fund, ahead of its proposed deal to be acquired by Southern BancShares in Mount Olive, N.C.

The $337 million-asset Heritage paid about $7.8 million to redeem all the preferred stock it had issued to the Treasury Department as part of the SBLF program, according to a Thursday news release. The payment included $19,500 in accrued dividends.

Heritage funded the redemption with about $5.6 million in accumulated cash and about $2.2 million from a line of credit. Heritage issued the SBLF shares in August 2011.

Separately, Heritage said Thursday it and the $2.2 billion-asset Southern have received all required regulatory approvals for their deal and the sale should close on Jan. 29. The deal still requires approval from Heritage shareholders. Southern in October agreed to buy Heritage for $48 million in cash.

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