NewBridge Bancorp in Greensboro, N.C., has agreed to buy Premier Commercial Bank in Greensboro.

The $2.4 billion-asset NewBridge, an ambitious consolidator in North Carolina, will pay $19.8 million in cash and stock, or $10 a share, for the $173 million-asset Premier. Three-fourths of the consideration is stock. The deal values Premier at 110% of its tangible book value.

Premier, a de novo bank founded in 2008, has one branch, a number of mortgage origination offices, $96 million in loans and $133 million in deposits.

"We look forward to welcoming Premier's clients and experienced banking professionals," Pressley Ridgill, NewBridge's president and chief executive, said in a press release Thursday. "Premier's ability to grow, even in the face of an extended economic downturn, and emerge with strong asset quality and a base of loyal clients reflects the value of the bank's team."

NewBridge said it expects to cut 45% of Premier's annual operating expenses, while earning back any dilution to tangible book value within a year. NewBridge also expects to incur about $3 million in merger-related expenses. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

NewBridge Bancorp was advised by Sandler O'Neill and Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard. Premier was advised by Raymond James and Ward & Smith.

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