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South State Corp. combining with Florida bank

Banking & Finance
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Columbia-based South State Corp. is combining with a Florida bank in an all-stock deal valued at $6 billion.

South State, the largest bank headquartered in South Carolina, is combining with CenterState Bank Corp., the two organizations announced Monday. The new company will operate under the South State name but will be based in Winter Haven, Fla.

CenterState shareholders will receive 0.3001 shares of South State for each share owned and will own about 53% of the new organization, which will have around $34 billion in assets and $26 billion in deposits. Shareholders of both companies must approve the transaction.

The terms of the merger agreement were unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, according to a news release.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. The new company will maintain a significant presence in Columbia and Charleston, along with Charlotte and Atlanta, according to the release.

South State CEO Robert R. Hill Jr. will serve as executive chairman of the combined company, while CenterState CEO John C. Corbett will be the new company's CEO. The board of the combined company will consist of 16 directors evenly split between South State and CenterState.

“We are excited to partner with CenterState,” Hill said in the release. “We have great respect for John, the management team and the company CenterState has built.”

The executive management team of the new company will also include three members from each bank. The South State members are: Renee Brooks, COO; Greg Lapointe, chief banking officer; and John Pollok, senior executive vice president. The CenterState members are: Will Matthews, CFO; Steve Young, chief strategy officer; and Richard Murray, president.

Lapointe was named president of South State in 2018. In 2017, South State merged with Charlotte-headquartered Park Sterling Corp., creating a company with $14.5 billion in assets.

“We have known and admired Robert and his team for over a decade, and we believe our two organizations are an outstanding fit,” Corbett said. “Combining these two high-performing teams will allow us to build an even stronger company together.”

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