First Liberty Financial Corp., Macon, Ga., said it has a deal to acquire Peoples Banking Corp., Blackshear, Ga., and its one-bank subsidiary, Peoples Bank, for about $18.5 million.

First Liberty, with $1.36 billion of assets, said it would exchange 12.78 shares - valued at about $310 - for each share of Peoples stock. Peoples, a $90 million-asset company, would then be merged into First Liberty.

Richard E. Larson, Peoples' president, said the bank's customers will be better served as a result of the merger.

The deal is expected to close in the fall. Combined with First Liberty's pending acquisition of Southland Bank Corp., Douglas, Ga., First Liberty would have 39 branches in 10 Georgia cities when the sale is completed.

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