Carolina Trust Bank in Lincolntown, N.C., has a deal to buy Carolina Commerce Bank in Gastonia, N.C., for $5.5 million in stock.

J. Michael Cline, Carolina Trust's president and chief executive officer, said buying the $104 million-asset Carolina Commerce would take his company into the growing Gaston County market. “We believe our entry into this market, with its proximity to the Charlotte metropolitan region, will result in increased value to our shareholders,” Cline said in a press release issued late Wednesday.

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