First Bancorp, the parent company of First Bank, has received all required regulatory approvals to acquire Select Bancorp. The acquisition is expected to be completed Oct. 15.
First Bank and the Dunn-based parent company of Select Bank & Trust, which operates 22 banking locations in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement earlier this year. The combined company is expected to have over $9 billion in assets, $6 billion in loans, and $8 billion in deposits.
"Select Bank is a high quality institution with a long-standing history of service and strong community banking relationships," said Richard Moore, Chief Executive Officer of First Bancorp, in a June 1 press release. "We are thrilled that the Select Bank team will be joining First Bank, and we look forward to the opportunity to serve their customers."
First Bank was founded in 1935 and is the fourth largest bank headquartered in North Carolina. From its Southern Pines base, the company employs over 1,000 full time staff and operates 101 bank branches in North Carolina and South Carolina, serving 300,000 bank customers.
First Bancorp first began expanding its footprint and influence beyond the Sandhills through a remarkable period of growth that kicked off nearly a decade ago.
Back in 2011, First Bank purchased a failed bank in Asheville and opened three branches. There was interest in growing that base. In terms of job growth, Asheville is one of the fastest-moving markets in North Carolina.
In March 2016, First Bank entered into an agreement to exchange seven First Bank branches located in Virginia for six First Community branches located in North Carolina. Four of those branches are in Winston-Salem, one is in Mooresville, and one is in Huntersville.
That effort was well-rewarded when another opportunity for growth in the Triad followed a few months later.
In June 2016, First Bank announced a merger agreement to acquire Carolina Bank Holdings, the parent company of Carolina Bank. Carolina Bank operated eight locations in the Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, and Winston-Salem markets.
The following year, it assumed the assets of ASB Bancorp, the parent company of Asheville Savings Bank. That acquisition complemented First Bank’s existing three branches in the Asheville area, with branches in Buncombe, Madison, McDowell, Henderson and Transylvania counties.