Hattiesburg-based bank expands with acquisition

Hattiesburg-based bank expands with acquisition
The combined company now has approximately $3.5 billion in total assets. (Kendall Green)

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The First, A National Banking Association, announced Monday its expansion into the Gulf South and greater New Orleans area with the acquisition FPB Financial Corp.

The First Bancshares, the holding company for the First, completed the acquisition, which means FPB Financial Corp.'s subsidiary, Florida Parishes Bank, will merge with The First.

“We are excited about the closing of our merger with Florida Parishes Bank and look forward to beginning our new partnership," said M. Ray Cole, president and CEO of The First. “FPB has a long rich history of exemplary customer service. Fritz Anderson , Chairman and CEO, and his team built a highly respected, high performing company that over his tenure created significant shareholder value.”

As a result of the merger, the combined company now has approximately $3.5 billion in total assets, $2.8 billion in total deposits and $2.3 billion in total loans.

“FPB and The First share a common vision of building a high performing regional community bank focused on client service and shareholder return. By joining forces we strongly believe the ability to accomplish our common goals is greatly enhanced.,” Cole said. "FPB brings an exceptional group of local bankers that share a common culture and approach to banking. This partnership will provide these bankers greater resources to serve their existing clients and pursue new relationships with increased capacity, increased product and service offerings and more locations.”

The First now has 71 locations across Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Georgia.

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