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Sharonview Federal Credit Union to buy two bank branches

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Sharonview Federal Credit Union in Indian Land, S.C. has agreed to purchase two branches from Little Rock, Ark.-based Bank OZK as it moves to exit the Palmetto State.

The sale of the branches in Hilton Head and Bluffton, S.C., includes $107 million in deposits and $3 million in loans. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close sometime in the fourth quarter, pending regulatory approval.

The $24.6 billion-asset bank said in a press release it had been difficult to operate efficiently in South Carolina with just two branches.

Bank OZK provided a similar rationale two weeks earlier when it announced plans to divest its two branches in Alabama. Merchants & Marine Bancorp in Pascagoula, Miss., and FEB Bancshares in Louisville, Ala., will each buy a branch in deals that are also expected to close in the fourth quarter.

Sharonview will have 92,000 members and 18 branches in North Carolina and South Carolina after the deal closes.

“We are thrilled to expand our footprint and serve more members in South Carolina,” Sharonview President and CEO Bill Partin said in a press release.

Bank OZK's deal with Sharonview marks at least the third time this year that a bank has agreed to sell branches to a credit union.

Blue Federal Credit Union in Cheyenne, Wy., in February acquired two branches in Colorado from Liberty Savings Bank in Wilmington, Ohio. In May, TCF Financial in Detroit sold seven Arizona branches to USA Alaska Credit Union in Anchorage.

Brian Martin, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, wrote in a Thursday note to clients that the South Carolina branch sales should result in a “small gain” for Bank OZK.

DD&F Consulting Group advised Bank OZK. Mercer Capital and Howard & Howard advised Sharonview.

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