Georgia United CU and HealthCom FCU have agreed to merge following approval by their boards and the submission of merger plans to state and federal regulatory agencies.

Based in Duluth, Ga., Georgia United boasts $993 million in assets. HealthCom Federal -- which is headquartered in Dalton, Ga. -- has more than $10 million.

HealthCom members will vote on the proposed merger at meeting for their 2,200 members in early 2015. Upon completion of the merger, the combined entity will retain the Georgia United name.

"HealthCom's board of directors had been exploring a partnership with another like-minded credit union in order to expand our service offerings and delivery channels to members," said HealthCom's chairman Terri White-Sullivan in a statement. "Georgia United was our choice due to their strong financial health, commitment to member service and value, and their extensive branch network."

Tom Dickson, chairman of Georgia United, said that strategic mergers between healthy CUs have become more common in recent years.

"When smaller credit unions intentionally partner with a larger credit union in their market, it benefits both organizations as the smaller credit union has immediate access to additional services and delivery channels and the larger credit union gains additional members who are interested in their services," Dickson noted.

Indeed, last summer $12.2 million Nashville CU of Nashville, Ga., announced plans to merge into $198 million Southeastern FCU of Valdosta, Ga., in a move both institutions termed "strategic in nature."

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