The owner of Carolina First said today it is being sold to a Canadian bank seeking to extend its U.S. presence.

The South Financial Group Inc. of Greenville said it has entered into a definitive agreement with TD Bank Financial Group, which owns Toronto Dominion Bank. TD Bank Financial Group has agreed to pay about $191 million in the deal.

Under the agreement, TD will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of The South Financial Group. Upon completion of the transaction, TD will acquire all of the company’s businesses and obligations, including all deposits of Carolina First, which operates as Mercantile Bank in Florida.

“Our board and management have conducted a broad and extensive process over the last six months to seek the best outcome for our shareholders, as well as for our customers, employees and the communities which we serve,” said H. Lynn Harton, president and chief executive officer of The South Financial Group. “TD is a strongly-capitalized financial institution with a prudent approach to risk management. It is committed to maintaining TSFG’s tradition of customer service and community involvement.”

See Tuesday’s editions of The Post and Courier for more details.