United Community Financial Corp. in Youngstown, Ohio, completed another step in its capital-raising plan with the sale of four branches to Croghan Bancshares Inc. in Fremont, Ohio.

Croghan purchased $20.9 million in performing consumer and residential loans and $111.4 million of deposits, United Community said Thursday. Under the deal, which closed Dec. 16, Croghan paid a premium of 4%, or $4.5 million, on the deposits at the branches in Fremont, Clyde and Tiffin, Ohio.

United Community is the parent of the $2.1 billion-asset Home Savings and Loan Co.

The $500.9 million-asset Croghan expects to keep the Home Savings employees at the branches.

Home Savings now has 34 branches and eight loan production offices in Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Croghan has roughly 14 branches in Ohio.

United Community has been working to raise capital as it struggles with bad loans and assets. The bank said earlier this month it raised about $2 million by selling 1.6 million shares of common stock to an investor and another $4.5 million from selling select investment securities in October.

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