reached an agreement to buy Haywood Bancshares Inc. of Waynesville, N.C., for $26.7 million of stock.

Century South, a multibank holding company with 11 subsidiary banks in Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee, said the transaction would be the company's first in western North Carolina.

Haywood has $150 million of assets and four branches. Century South has $1.2 billion of assets and 30 branches.

Haywood shareholders would get about $21.30 worth of Century South stock for each share they own.

The merger is expected to close in the first quarter.

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