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First Community, Savannah River Financial to merge

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Staff Report

colanews@scbiznews.com

Published Aug. 14, 2013

First Community Corp., the holding company of First Community Bank, and Savannah River Financial Corp., the holding company of Savannah River Banking Co., jointly announced today an agreement to merge.

Lexington-based First Community will acquire Aiken-based Savannah River Financial in a cash and stock transaction valued at about $33.6 million. The transaction value at the time of the merger may change due to changes in the price of First Community stock.

The combined financial services company will have about $775 million in total assets, $635 million in total deposits, and $450 million in total loans.

The transaction will create a 13-office banking company. First Community Corp. currently operates 11 banking offices in Lexington, Richland, Newberry and Kershaw counties. Savannah River Financial operates two financial centers, located in Augusta, Ga. and in Aiken.

The merger agreement was unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company. Closing of the transaction, which is expected to occur early in the first quarter of 2014, is subject to customary conditions, including regulatory approval and approval by the shareholders of both companies.

Michael Crapps"This is a comfortable extension of our company into a contiguous county, and beyond into Augusta. The central Savannah River area and the midlands of South Carolina have many economic similarities, and both are experiencing nice momentum in business growth," said First Community President and CEO Michael C. Crapps (pictured, left).

Under the merger agreement, 60% of the merger cost will be paid in cash and the balance will be in newly issued shares of First Community common stock.

Paul S. Simon, chairman of the board of SRFC, said, "This combination offers our shareholders a cash dividend and enhanced liquidity, as well as a premium on the capital they invested."

j-randolph-potterRandy Potter (pictured, left), CEO of Savannah River Financial, along with Simon and Leland Reynolds, all current Savannah River board members, will be appointed as members of the First Community board of directors. Additionally, Potter will serve the combined company in a consulting role for a one-year period. Jeff Spears, president of SRFC, will remain as the regional president of the central Savannah River market, along with Phil Wahl, Augusta market president, and Joe Lewis as Aiken market president.

First Community Corp. was advised in the transaction by FIG Partners as financial advisor, and Nelson Mullins, Riley & Scarborough, as legal counsel. SRFC was advised by Allen C. Ewing & Co. as financial advisor, and Bryan Cave as legal counsel.

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