Olanta, Hartsville banks announce merger

OLANTA, S.C. — Citizens Bancshares Corporation, the holding company of The Citizens Bank, and Regional Bankshares, Inc., the holding company of Heritage Community Bank, jointly announced Friday the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which Citizens has agreed to acquire Regional in a cash and stock transaction with a total current value of approximately $11.3 million, based on an assumed Citizens’ stock value of approximately $30 per share as of May 17.

The combined company would have had approximately $550 million in total assets, $476 million in total deposits, and $356 million in total loans.

The transaction will create a 19-office banking company with locations in the eastern part of South Carolina.

The merger agreement has been approved by the board of directors of each company. Closing of the transaction, which is expected to occur near the end of the third quarter of 2018, is subject to regulatory approval and approval by the shareholders of Regional.

Gosnold G. Segars, Chairman of Regional’s Board of Directors is expected to join the Citizens Board of Directors. Other current Regional Board members will have the opportunity to serve as members of The Citizens Bank’s Hartsville Advisory Board.

Additionally, Curtis A. Tyner, Sr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Regional, will serve the combined company in a consulting role for a three-year period following the completion of the acquisition.

“Our customers will continue to receive the same high quality level of service from the bankers that have served them at Heritage Community Bank. With Citizens, we have found a shared passion for our work with local businesses and professionals. This focus will continue and we are looking forward to the additional capacity that this combination of banks will bring to our customers,” Tyner said.

“Heritage Community Bank is the ideal partner for The Citizens Bank. Our banking philosophies are very similar and we have many operational similarities as well. This transaction will strengthen our ability to serve our local markets, consumers and businesses that make Heritage Community Bank and The Citizens Bank successful. I look forward to our future together as a combined institution and the substantial impact our bank will have on the communities that we serve. We welcome Heritage Community Bank customers and employees to The Citizens Bank family,” said Blake Gibbons, president of The Citizens Bank.