Southwestern Virginia banks announce merger

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First Community Bankshares in Bluefield, Va., has agreed to buy Highlands Bankshares in Abingdon, Va.

The $2.2 billion-asset First Community said in a press release Wednesday that it will pay $91 million in stock for the parent of the $612 million-asset Highlands Union Bank. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

"This natural partnership brings like-minded bankers and customers together to create an even stronger franchise to serve the people and communities of the tri-state Highlands region,” Will Stafford, First Community’s chairman and CEO, said in the release. “Both banks' stakeholders are an integral part of this area and share its values of hard-work and community involvement.”

Banks Street Partners, Pitman Law Firm, Fox Rothchild and Bowles Rice advised First Community. Stephens Inc. and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough advised Highlands.

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