South State buys 12 SC branches from Bank of America

Bank of America is selling off a dozen South Carolina branches to Columbia-based South State Bank.

The 12 retail offices are in Florence, Greenwood, Orangeburg, Sumter, Newberry, Batesburg-Leesville, Abbeville and Hartsville.

South State also is buying a branch in Hartwell, Ga., from the Charlotte-based financial giant.

The deal will give South State entry into six new geographic areas and enhance its presence in three existing markets. It’s expected to close in the third quarter. The purchase includes about $580 million in deposits and $3 million in loans.

The purchase price will be finalized when the sale closes. South State’s payment to Bank of America will include an amount equal to 5.5 percent of the acquired deposits, according to the sale agreement. That was about $31.9 million as of Wednesday.

South State said it will hire all employees at each of the acquired branches and that it expects a smooth customer transition.

“These offices are a great addition to our existing banking network,” CEO Robert R. Hill Jr. said in a written statement. “We look forward to growing and investing in these communities and to welcoming these customers and employees to South State.”

The Bank of America purchase will only increase the number of South State branches by one — the lender announced in March it is closing 12 branches this year and consolidating them in nearby locations. Five of those are in the Charleston region.