Two banks have beefed up their presence in the Southeast.

Park Sterling Corporation (PSTB) in Charlotte, N.C., said Monday it has completed its purchase of Citizens South Banking Corp. in Gastonia, N.C., for $83 million, the same day Capital Bank Financial of Coral Gables, Fla., announced the completion of its acquisition of Southern Community Financial in Winston-Salem, N.C., for $47 million.

The $1.1 billion-asset parent of Park Sterling Bank said in May it would acquire the $1 billion-asset Citizens South for cash and stock, excluding the exchange of $20.5 million Citizens received from the Treasury Department's Small Business Lending Fund.

The deal roughly doubles Park Sterling's presence with the addition of 21 Citizens South branches.

"This merger will bring together two strong banks to create the largest community bank in the Charlotte region, with offices stretching across the Carolinas and into north Georgia," Park Sterling Chief Executive James Cherry said in a news release.

Capital's acquisition of Southern Community Financial creates a $9.1 billion-asset company with about 165 branches from Florida to Virginia.

The deal, announced in March, continues a spree of acquisitions by Capital, which was formed in 2009 by a group headed by R. Eugene Taylor, a former vice chairman of Bank of America, to acquire distressed or underperforming banks throughout the region.

Since then it has acquired six banks, including Naples, Fla.-based TIB Financial Corp., Capital Bank Corp. in Raleigh, N.C., and Green Bankshares in Greeneville, Tenn. Capital said recently it anticipates using roughly $91 million it expects to net from a pending public offering to buy financial institutions, according to a regulatory filing.

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