Carolina First Corp. of Greenville, S.C., has a deal to buy Colonial Bank of South Carolina Inc., Camden, for $13.4 million of stock.

The deal calls for Colonial Bank's four branches to become offices of Carolina First Bank.

Carolina First, with $2.3 billion of assets and 64 branches, is the largest independent bank holding company in South Carolina. The purchase of $57 million-asset Colonial Bank would give the company its first presence in Kershaw County, a fast-growing suburb of Columbia.

"This merger keeps with our strategy to expand in high-potential, high- growth markets," said Mack I. Whittle Jr., president and chief executive officer of Carolina First.

The deal is expected to close during the fourth quarter.

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