First Citizens Bancshares said Friday its lead bank has agreed to buy 15 Virginia branches with $292 million of deposits from Signet Banking Corp.

Terms of the purchase by First-Citizens Bank and Trust Co. were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter, provided regulators approve.

The addition of the branches in western and southern Virginia would nearly double the banking company's deposits in the state. First Citizens has approximately $8 billion of assets. Its legal adviser for the transaction was Ward & Smith, New Bern, N.C.

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