In a bid to raise fresh capital, ailing Waccamaw Bankshares Inc. in Whiteville, N.C., is selling eight of its branches in North Carolina and three in South Carolina to rival First Bancorp in Troy, N.C.

The deal, announced late Monday, would include roughly $180 million of deposits and $98 million of performing loans and would leave Waccamaw with just five branches in its home state and one in South Carolina.

The $3.4 billion-asset First Bancorp is to pay a 1.5% premium on the deposits. The sale is expected to close in early 2012.

Waccamaw's capital base has been depleted in recent quarters by losses on real estate loans. At June 30, the company's total risk-based capital ratio was 5.83%, down from 10.65% a year earlier, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. 

The $588 million-asset company reported losses to the FDIC of $9 million last year and $8 million through the first half of this year, though the figures are subject to change pending the completion of an internal audit.

In a news release Monday, Waccamaw President Geoffrey R. Hopkins said the branch sale would improve the company's capital position, as well as its profitability and its efficiency as it refocuses its efforts on its core markets.

For First Bancorp, the acquisition of Waccamaw's branches in Brunswick and New Hanover counties and North Carolina and Horry County in South Carolina would continue its rapid growth in the Carolinas. Since mid-2008, the company has added more than $1.3 billion of assets by acquiring a South Carolina thrift and failed banks in Asheville and Wilmington in North Carolina.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.