SCBT, First Financial to merge

info@islandpacket.comFebruary 20, 2013 

SCBT Financial Corp. and First Financial Holdings Inc. announced Wednesday they will merge into a joint regional bank.

"We are pleased to announce that two of the Southeast's oldest, strongest and largest banks are merging to form a dynamic banking company," Robert R. Hill Jr., president and CEO of SCBT Financial Corp., said in a news release. "Our two banks complement each other significantly and, because of our size, earnings power and strength, we will be uniquely positioned to build a premier regional bank in the Southeast,"

The new company will have about $8.3 billion in assets, $6.9 billion in deposits and $6.1 billion in loans. Together, they have a network of 148 branches in the Carolinas and generate more than $2 billion in mortgage loans.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2013. The proposed holding company name will be First Financial Holdings Inc.

SCBT has a branch in Bluffton, two branches on Hilton Head Island and a branch on Lady's Island and in Ridgeland and in Hardeeville.

First Financial Holdings has First Federal branches on Hilton Head and in Bluffton.

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