By Jackie Stewart, American Banker magazine Published September 26 2017, 2∶29pm EDT First Reliance Bancshares in Florence, S.C., has agreed to buy Independence Bancshares in Greenville, S.C. The $435 million-asset First Reliance said in a press release Monday that it will pay about $11 million in cash for the $90 million-asset Independence. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter. First Reliance also announced that it had raised $25.1 million from a private placement of common and nonvoting preferred stock to various investors. The funds will help pay for the acquisition. First Reliance, led by CEO Rick Saunders, is set to expand into Greenville, S.C., with its latest acquisition. "The capital raise will support the bank's simultaneously announced acquisition of Independence and expand the company's footprint into the highly attractive” Greenville, S.C., market, Rick Saunders, First Reliance’s president and CEO, said in the release. “Independence is one of the last locally owned community banks in Greenville … and a franchise with excellent core deposits and tremendous scarcity value.” First Reliance will have $533 million in assets, $369 million in gross loans, $432 million in deposits and 11 branches in South Carolina when it completes the acquisition. The company also plans to open a loan production office in Winston-Salem, N.C., in October. First Reliance expects to recover Independence’s deferred-tax asset and other related tax benefits totaling roughly $1.9 million. The deal is expected to be slightly dilutive to First Reliance’s 2018 tangible book value per share, including one-time transaction costs. The deal is expected to provide double-digit accretion to First Reliance’s 2018 earnings per share. Hovde Group and Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd advised First Reliance as legal counsel. Hovde also served as the placement agent for the private placement, while Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough acted as legal counsel. FIG Partners and Nelson Mullins advised Independence on the sale.
First Reliance in S.C. raises capital to fund its first bank deal | American Banker