Security Capital Bancorp of Salisbury, N.C., strengthened its presence in the growing Charlotte market last week by acquiring First Federal Savings and Loan Association for $41 million in cash.

The $930 million-asset holding company said the purchase of First Federal and its 10 branches, primarily in the Charlotte area, makes Security Capital North Carolina's 10th-largest banking company.

"We had a hole in the Charlotte area," said David Jordan, vice chairman and chief executive of Security. "We only had three Charlotte offices; now we'll have eight after the consolidations."

Three of First Federal's 10 branches will be merged with three of Security Capital's branches, bringing Security's total to 46 offices in 13 counties around the Charlotte area.

First Federal's three other branches, located in Rockingham, Troy, and Biscoe, will extend the company's presence to the state's south-central Piedmont region.

"We won't be competing with the big boys, but this will give us a reasonable market share," Mr. Jordan said.

Some of First Federal's retail branch personnel will come over to Security Capital, but most of the thrift's executive structure will be "dismantled," Mr. Jordan added.

Lucy Zemp, a bank and thrift analyst with J.C. Bradford & Co., said the acquisition compliments Security's franchise.

"They are not interested in being a major player in the Charlotte market, but makes their franchise more valuable," she said.

Ms. Zemp said the acquisition will have a positive impact on Security's earnings in 1995.

First Federal, a $3 10 million-asset thrift, appealed to Security Capital, based about 30 miles to the north, because of its primarily low-risk asset makeup and Charlotte presence, Mr. Jordan said.

"At the end of the day, the remaining assets of First Federal match the quality of assets Security Capital has always maintained," Mr. Jordan said in a press release.

"The advantage to our shareholders is that more of our assets are now employed in commercial banking, which offers a larger and more diverse market along with better profitability for the bank."

First Federal was merged into Security Bank and Trust Co., a subsidiary of Security Capital, and is now named Security Capital Bank. This new subsidiary will control about $680 million of the holding company's $1.2 billion of assets, Mr. Jordan said.

The Salisbury bank holding company will combine three of its savings banks, Omnibank, Citizens Savings, and Home Savings Bank, under the same name, Security Capital Bank.

According to the press release, this three-bank merger and subsequent conversion to a commercial bank will cost $5.6 million to record deferred tax liabilities.

As a result of this charge and other restructuring costs, Security Capital expects a net loss for the third quarter.

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