A Georgia bank company's deal to acquire a small South Carolina community bank has been terminated because of the buyer's languishing stock price.

Flag Financial Corp. in LaGrange, Ga., announced in March that it would buy $58 million-asset Bank of Abbeville (S.C.) for about $9 million. Since then, Flag's stock price has fallen nearly 30%, to about $8.

"We have mutually agreed that the timing is not right to consummate our proposed transaction," Flag said in a statement Monday.

Flag, a multibank holding company with about $600 million of assets, has been an active acquirer in recent years. In recent months the company has bought Thomaston (Ga.) Federal Savings Bank and First Hogansville (Ga.) Bankshares.

But the company's faltering stock price has cost it at least two deals. Last November its agreement to buy Heart of Georgia Bancshares in Macon collapsed three months after it was announced,because Flag's stock price had dropped by about one-third. -- Alan Kline

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