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CresCom to be acquired by W.Va. bank

Banking & Finance
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Carolina Financial Corp., the parent company of CresCom Bank and Atlanta-based Crescent Mortgage Co., has agreed to be acquired by United Bankshares Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $1.1 billion.

CresCom is the second-largest bank headquartered in South Carolina, behind South State Bank. United is based in Charleston, W.Va., and has locations throughout that state and in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The merger has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, according to a news release. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020, pending regulatory and shareholder approvals.

Richard Adams, chairman and CEO of United, said in the release that he is excited about the opportunities that the merger presents to United and Carolina Financial.

“Our companies share complementary cultures, a commitment to our customers and a focus on serving our communities,” he said. “This transaction represents a significant step towards continuing to grow United’s presence in the Carolinas.”

United will acquire 100% of the outstanding shares of Carolina Financial in exchange for shares of United, with an exchange ratio of 1.13 United shares for each Carolina Financial share.

The combined organization will have approximately $25 billion in assets, the news release said, ranking among the top 35 largest banks in the U.S. based on market capitalization.

Carolina Financial CEO Jerry Rexroad will join United as a board member and executive officer when the transaction is complete, the release said. He will also serve as chairman of United’s Carolinas franchise and continue to serve as chairman of Crescent Mortgage.

“We are partnering with a bank that has a strong community banking culture, along with the resources of a larger institution,” Rexroad said in the release. “We believe that United is the very best partner to create the most trusted community bank in the communities we serve.”

Earlier this year, Carolina Financial began an acquisition of North Carolina-based Carolina Trust Bancshares Inc. That acquisition is expected to close before the end of 2019.

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