First Bancorp announced the completion of its acquisition of GrandSouth Bancorporation, the parent company of GrandSouth Bank, on January 1, 2023. The merger solidifies First Bank’s position as one of the leading banks headquartered in the Carolinas, with total assets of approximately $12 billion and 118 branches.
Mike Mayer, President and CEO of First Bank, stated, “We are very pleased that our merger with GrandSouth Bank is now official. We welcome our new customers, associates, and shareholders to First Bank. GrandSouth Bank customers can expect to continue to receive the same high level of service to which they are accustomed. Additionally, GrandSouth Bank branches will continue to operate under their current name until a systems conversion of customer accounts, which is scheduled for March 2023, and GrandSouth Bank customers should continue to conduct their business with their current GrandSouth Bank branches until that time. We will be in touch with customers in advance of the conversion to ensure a smooth transition.” Mr. Mayer continued, “We also welcome Mason Garrett and Randy Potter to our Board of Directors and look forward to working together for our shareholders.”
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JB Schwiers, President & CEO of GrandSouth Bank, stated, “We are very pleased with the merger with First Bank. The community model valued at both institutions is something our customers are accustomed to and enjoy. While we are working toward a smooth conversion we want to thank our customers and team members for their loyalty over the years. We have been warmly welcomed by the First Bank team members, and we expect a smooth integration for employees and customers alike. I would like also to thank GrandSouth shareholders and customers for the loyal support they have shown over the years and for what I expect will be many more years to come.”
Under the terms of the merger agreement, GrandSouth shareholders will receive 0.91 shares of First Bancorp common stock for each share of GrandSouth common and preferred stock. Any fractional shares resulting from the exchange will be paid cash at a rate of $38.98 per share. Shareholders of GrandSouth who own their shares of stock in book entry form or hold their shares with brokers will have their shares automatically converted to shares of First Bancorp, with no action required. Shareholders who hold stock certificates of GrandSouth will be mailed instructions in the near future for converting their shares of GrandSouth to First Bancorp stock.
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Also, under the merger agreement, GrandSouth’s subsidiary bank, GrandSouth Bank, has merged with and into First Bancorp’s subsidiary bank, First Bank. First Bank will continue to operate the eight branches of GrandSouth Bank under the GrandSouth Bank name until a systems conversion planned for mid-March 2023.
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. served as financial advisor to First Bancorp and Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP provided legal counsel. Piper Sandler & Co. served as financial advisor to GrandSouth and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP served as legal counsel.
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