New Century Bancorp (NCBC) in Dunn, N.C., has agreed to buy Select Bancorp in Greenville, N.C.

The $550 million-asset New Century said it plans to pay $31.1 million in stock, or about $12.55 a share, for Select. The companies expect the deal to close in mid-2014.

New Century will also issue preferred stock to the Treasury Department in exchange for preferred shares that Select issued through the Small Business Lending Fund. Select received roughly $7.6 million through the fund in 2011.

The $265 million-asset Select, which was founded in 2004, has six branches in North Carolina, $214 million in deposits and $210 million in loans.

"This partnership creates a strong community bank committed to serving personal and business customers in our markets, as well as the communities in which we operate," New Century Chief Executive William Hedgepeth said in a press release. "Together, we believe we will be able to expand into new markets, offering new customers the same high value and personal service both banks have given their customers."

Janney Montgomery Scott advised New Century; Smith Capital advised Select.

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