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SCBT Financial, First Financial to merge


Staff Report
Published Feb. 20, 2013

Columbia-based SCBT Financial Corp. and First Financial Holdings Inc. of Charleston jointly announced this morning an agreement under which SCBT and First Financial will merge to position the combined company to become a major regional bank.

SCBT CEO Robert Hill
SCBT CEO Robert Hill
First Financial CEO R. Wayne Hall
First Financial CEO R. Wayne Hall
“We are pleased to announce that two of the Southeast’s oldest, strongest and largest banks are merging to form a dynamic banking company. 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,” said Robert R. Hill Jr., president and CEO of SCBT Financial.

“This partnership benefits our customers, shareholders and employees and is a unique opportunity to join two local community banks with a similar history and culture. We have admired and respected First Financial for a long time, and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to build an even stronger company together,” Hill said.

Founded in 1934, First Financial operates First Federal Bank, which has 66 locations in the Carolinas and ranks eighth in deposit market share.

“For nearly 80 years, both SCBT and First Federal have consistently served the financial needs of our customers and we look forward to continuing this legacy,” said R. Wayne Hall, president and CEO of First Financial. "We will collectively continue to deliver the highest level of service, while maintaining our community banking values. Together, we will collaborate to evaluate our strengths and work to leverage the best of each of our institutions.”

Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will have approximately $8.3 billion in total assets, $6.9 billion in total deposits and $6.1 billion in total loans. The new company will rank fifth in deposit market share in South Carolina. The new company will have 148 branches in the Carolinas and generate more than $2 billion in mortgage loans, ranking fourth in mortgage market share.

First Financial’s wealth management division when combined with SCBT’s wealth management group will have total assets under management of approximately $2.35 billion.

Previous coverage

SCBT reports 23% jump in Q4 income
SCBT Financial completes takeover of Savannah Bancorp
Acquisition gives SCBT opportunity to expand wealth management group
SCBT rebrands Peoples Bancorp. offices
First Financial reverses year-end loss
Treasury Department to sell stock in Charleston-based bank


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