Wachovia Corp. said Thursday it has agreed to buy B C Bankshares Inc. of Canton, Ga., for $134 million in stock.

Closely held B C Bankshares has eight branches in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. As of June 30 it had assets of $395 million and deposits of $341 million.

Wachovia, which has $67 billion of assets, said it wants a bigger presence in Georgia. The deal would solidify its No. 3 ranking in deposits in the state behind Bank of America Corp. and SunTrust Banks Inc.

Wachovia has 132 branches in Georgia.

"This acquisition gives Wachovia an increased deposit share in an attractive market," said Christopher Mutasci, a bank analyst at Legg Mason Wood Walker in Baltimore. "It looks like B C Bankshares is a sound fundamental performer."

Shareholders of B C Bankshares would receive 2.914 shares of Wachovia for each B C share. Wachovia said it expects to issue about 1.6 million shares. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

-- Dan Weil

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.