Wachovia Corp. said Tuesday that it has agreed to buy $280 million-asset Ameribank Bancshares of Hollywood, Fla., for $71 million in stock.

Ameribank Bancshares is the parent of American Bank, the largest community bank headquartered in Broward County, with seven branches.

The agreement will be structured as a purchase, with a fixed exchange of 3.5019 shares of Wachovia common stock for every share of Ameribank.

Privately held Ameribank's stock was valued at $262.64 a share. The exchange is based on Wachovia's closing stock price of $75 on Monday.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter.

Once the deal closed, American Bank would be merged with 1st United Bank, Boca Raton, another of Wachovia's recent acquisitions in the state. Wachovia would have 39 branches in Florida after acquiring Ameribank.

Wachovia, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., has $47.7 billion of assets.

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