First Bancorp has signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire South Carolina-based bank holding company GrandSouth Bancorporation.

The all-stock deal has a current value of $181.1m.

As agreed, GrandSouth shareholders will receive 0.910 shares of First Bancorp’s common stock for each share they hold.

The transaction is expected to close in late fourth quarter of this year or early first quarter of 2023, subject to regulatory and GrandSouth shareholder approvals.

GrandSouth Bank, the subsidiary of GrandSouth, provides financial services to individuals and small and medium sized businesses. It has eight branches in South Carolina.

The new acquisition will create a combined lender with more than $12bn in assets and further bolster First Bancorp’s footprint in the state.

First Bank president and CEO Mike Mayer said: “GrandSouth is in great communities with talented bankers.

“Our cultures are very similar and we are excited to bring our teams together.”

GrandSouth president and director JB Schwiers said: “We are very excited about this partnership and the unique opportunity it presents.

“We have long admired First Bancorp, and our combined company will be positioned to capitalise on an enhanced presence in exceptional markets, talent, and financial strength.”

First Bancorp, the parent company of First Bank, is headquartered in Southern Pines, North Carolina.

Last year, the lender acquired Select Bancorp, the parent company of Select Bank and Trust Company, to strengthen its position as a community bank.

In a separate development in the US, Midland States Bancorp acquired $83m of deposits and $17m of loans of two FNBC Bank & Trust Locations in Northern Illinois.