First Liberty Financial Corp. said Wednesday it has a deal to acquire Southland Bank Corp., Douglas, Ga., for $37 million of stock. That price equals 2.23 times Southland's book value, First Liberty said.

Southland has $149 million of assets and operates five branches through two bank subsidiaries. The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter.

"We have been looking for some time at opportunities to expand our bank's presence in several market areas," said Robert F. Hatcher, president and chief executive officer of $1.3 billion-asset First Liberty. "We believe the areas served by Southland's two banks will complement our other market areas."

This is First Liberty's seventh bank deal announced since 1992.

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