SouthFirst Bancshares, a thrift holding company in Sylacauga, Ala., has agreed to buy Pension and Benefit Financial Services Inc., a Montgomery- based employee benefits consulting firm, for approximately $850,000 in cash and stock. SouthFirst will make the acquisition through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Benefit Financial Serivces.

The deal is part of SouthFirst's plan to broaden its fee-for-service banking business, president and chief executive Don Stroup said in a press release.

SouthFirst owns First Federal of the South, formerly known as First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Sylacauga.

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