The second-biggest bank headquartered in South Carolina, which had been on an acquisition run in recent years, is itself being sold in a deal valued at $1.1 billion.
Carolina Financial Corp., the locally based parent of CresCom Bank, is being purchased in an all-stock transaction by the much larger owner of United Bank of Charleston, W.Va., and Washington, D.C.
The sale has been approved by the boards of both companies and is expected to be finalized by June 30. The CresCom name eventually will go away.
“We are partnering with a bank that has a strong community banking culture, along with the resources of a larger institution. We believe that United is the very best partner to create the most trusted community bank in the communities we serve,” Carolina Financial CEO Jerry Rexroad said Monday.
The combined operation will oversee about $25 billion in loans and other assets at roughly 200 branches in Southeast and mid-Atlantic regions. It will be among the top 35 largest U.S. banks based on its projected stock market value.
Rexroad will join United Bankshares Inc. as a director and executive officer. He also will be chairman of Carolina Financial's Atlanta-based mortgage business.
“We are excited about our partnership with Carolina Financial ... and the opportunities it affords both organizations," United Bank CEO Richard Adams said in a written statement. "Our companies share complementary cultures, a commitment to our customers, and a focus on serving our communities. This transaction represents a significant step toward continuing to grow United’s presence in the Carolinas.”
United Bank has $20 billion in loans and other assets, and offices in seven states and the nation's capital. Its George Mason Mortgage division has loan offices in Columbia and Bluffton.
The bank has completed 31 acquisitions since going public in 1987.
Charleston-based CresCom is the second-largest lender headquartered in South Carolina behind South State Bank, with about 60 offices and $3.8 billion in assets. It's been focusing much of its recent expansion activity on key growth markets in North Carolina.
Its latest acquisition is the proposed $100 million purchase of Lincolton-based Carolina Trust Bank. Announced in July, the deal will expand CresCom's footprint in and around the Charlotte area when finalized next month.
Previously, CresCom extended its reach into the Research Triangle and the eastern part of the Tar Heel State when it snapped up Washington, N.C.-based First South Bank for $178 million in late 2017.
The South Carolina lender got its start as Community FirstBank, which opened its doors in May 1997 at 288 Meeting St. in downtown Charleston. Its parent company entered the Myrtle Beach market in 2000 by forming Crescent Bank. The two franchises were combined under the CresCom name in 2012.