On Wednesday, Columbia, S.C.-based SCBT Financial(NASDAQ:SSB) announced that it has agreed to purchase First Financial Holdings (NASDAQ:FFCH) of Charleston, S.C., in a transaction valued at approximately $302 million.

In a statement, the companies described their merger as forming "a premier regional bank in the Southeast." Once combined, the new bank holding company, to be known as First Financial Holdings, will boast:

  • $8.3 billion in total assets.
  • $6.9 billion in deposits.
  • A loan portfolio of $6.1 billion, including $2 billion in mortgage loans.
  • Assets under management of $2.35 billion.
  • 148 branches across the Carolinas.

Logistically, the merger will be structured as a buyout of First Financial, shareholders of which will receive 0.4237 shares of SCBT common stock for each share of First Financial they now own. This values First Financial shares at approximately $18.30 apiece based on SCBT's closing stock price of $43.18 on Feb. 19. Closing is expected to occur in Q3 2013.

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