NationsBank Corp. is retreating from Kentucky with an agreement to sell its three retail branches in the state to $1.9 billion-asset Area Bancshares, Owensboro.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but a spokesman for the Charlotte, N.C.-based superregional bank said the ultimate price tag would be based on the number of deposits that remain at the three branches once the sale is complete.

The sale includes $122 million of deposits, $94 million in loans, and $165 million of assets at NationsBank of Kentucky N.A. The branches are all based in Hopkinsville.

Area Bancshares would have 10 branches in Hopkinsville with the acquisition. The bank now has 54 branches in 23 cities throughout Kentucky. Area Bancshares said it plans to hire NationsBank personnel and operate the branches under its First City Bank subsidiary.

NationsBank said a fourth Kentucky branch at the military installation Fort Campbell would not be sold.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, pending regulatory approval.

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