Synovus Financial Corp. said Tuesday that it has a definitive agreement to buy Merit Holding Corp. of Tucker, Ga., for about $115 million in stock.

Synovus, which announced the deal in March, said it would exchange 1.0537 to 1.4312 share of its stock for each share of Merit stock.

The deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, would expand Synovus' presence in suburban Atlanta. The $10.8 billion-asset company bought three banks in 1998, all within the state's largest market.

Merit, with $306 million of assets, operates two banks with six branches. The banks would keep their names, employees, and boards of directors.

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