SouthBanc Shares Inc. in Anderson, S.C., announced a deal this week to buy Heritage Bancorp in nearby Laurens, S.C., for $77 million of cash and stock.The deal would create the third-largest thrift company in South Carolina, with $670 million of assets and 10 branches. SouthBanc Shares, with $374 million of assets, would pay about $17.65, or 1.04 times book value, for each share of Heritage stock, the company said Monday.

SouthBanc Shares is the parent of Perpetual Bank, and Heritage operates Heritage Federal Bank. Heritage Federal would operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of SouthBanc Shares. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

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