Press Release August 12, 2019

The First Bancshares to Acquire First Florida Bancorp for $85 Million

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Alston & Bird client The First Bancshares, Inc., holding company for The First, A National Banking Association, announced that it plans to acquire First Florida Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of First Florida Bank, for approximately $85 million.

The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, will further expand The First Bancshares’s regional expansion plan and footprint in Florida, where it will gain six full-service branches.

Upon completion of the deal, the combined company will have 78 locations throughout Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. It will also have approximately $4 billion in total assets, $3.2 billion in total deposits, and $2.6 billion in total loans.

This is the fifth acquisition in the past two years in which Alston & Bird has advised First Bancshares, which is based in Hattiesburg, MS, and listed on the Nasdaq stock market. Previous transactions include the bank’s acquisition of FPB Financial Corp., holding company of Florida Parishes Bank; Sunshine Financial, Inc. and its banking subsidiary, Sunshine Community Bank; FMB Banking Corp. and its banking subsidiary, Farmers & Merchants Bank; and Southwest Banc Shares, parent company of First Community Bank.

Representing First Bancshares on the First Florida deal is an Alston & Bird team led by partner Mark Kanaly, senior associates David Park and Will Hooper, and associates John Hobgood and John Gerl (Financial Services & Products); partner Blake MacKay, counsel Kerry Wenzel, and senior associate Meredith Gage (Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation); partner Scott Harty and associate Seth Buchwald (Federal & International Tax); and partner Brett Coburn (Labor & Employment).
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