The First Bancshares, owner of The First, A National Banking Association (The First), has reached an agreement to acquire FMB Banking Corporation (FMB), the bank holding company for Farmers & Merchants Bank, in a deal valued at $80m.

For each share of FMB common stock, its shareholder will be entitled to receive either $204.70 in cash or 5.6391 shares of First Bancshares’ common stock.

As per the terms of the agreement and plan of merger, nearly 80% of FMB shares will receive the stock consideration and 20% will receive the cash consideration.

FMB had about $480.7m in consolidated assets, $329.1m in loans, $421.6m in deposits and $38.8m in consolidated stockholder’s equity as of 30 June 2018.

The acquisition will expand The First’s footprint in the Florida panhandle and will mark its foray into southern Georgia.

FMB chairman of the board F. Wilson Carraway III said: “We are excited to combine with a quality institution in The First. This combination will continue FMB’s longstanding track record of service to its customers, employees, and communities, and it also provides significant value to our shareholders.”

Once the acquisition is closed, the merged entity will have almost $3bn in total assets, $2.5bn in total deposits and $2bn in total loans. The new company will manage 67 branches in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia.

First Bancshares and The First president and CEO M. Ray Cole said: “We are convinced that this partnership will allow our combined company to better serve our existing clients and will provide additional capacity to generate new relationships.

“The combined company will have improved access to growth capital to help support existing as well as new markets in the Florida/Georgia region.”

The deal has already received approval from the boards of directors of First Bancshares and FMB. It is scheduled to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approval and approval by the shareholders of FMB.