State Bank Financial (STBZ) in Atlanta has agreed to buy Georgia-Carolina Bancshares (GECR) in Augusta, Ga.

The $2.6 billion-asset State Bank will pay about $82 million, or $22.35 a share, in cash and stock for the $523 million-asset Georgia-Carolina. State Bank said in a press release Tuesday that it expects to complete the acquisition in the first quarter of next year.

"This merger will give us the opportunity to enter the Augusta market with a strong management team that has been a significant part of the local community for over 25 years,” Joe Evans, State Bank’s chairman and chief executive, said in the release. “By combining our resources, we believe we will be able to deliver a higher level of service to our customers, employees and shareholders than either of us could apart."

Georgia-Carolina has seven branches in Augusta. The company also has about $317 million in loans and roughly $428 million in deposits.

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey and Smith, Gambrell & Russell advised Georgia-Carolina. FIG Partners provided the seller with a fairness opinion. Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough advised State Bank.

State Bank, once an aggressive buyer of failed banks, has been looking more at traditional deals. The company agreed to buy Atlanta Bancorp. in April for $25 million.

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