agreement to acquire FFE Financial Corp. of Englewood, Fla., the last publicly traded thrift on the Sunshine State's western coast. SouthTrust, which is based in Birmingham, agreed to pay $13.5 million in cash and stock, or 150% of FFE Financial's book value. With $141 million of assets, FFE Financial is the holding company for First of Englewood, which serves Sarasota and Charlotte counties with offices in Englewood and Grove City. The deal with SouthTrust is expected to be closed by April. For its fiscal year ending Sept. 30, FFE Financial reported earnings of $847,914, or $1.72 a share, compared with a loss of $175,403, or 37 cents a share, the year before. The ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets declined during the period to 1.44% from 2.91%. The company earned 0.63% on assets and 10.54% on equity.

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