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HeritageBank of the South buys 2 Boro PAB branches
Companys vice president says two Statesboro branches will stay the same for now
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    HeritageBank of the South announced Thursday it will purchase five branches of The Park Avenue Bank from PAB Bankshares, Inc., including the two in Statesboro.
    “We would like for the customers of Park Avenue Bank in Statesboro to know that everything will remain the same for now,” said Heath Fountain, senior vice president and chief financial officer of HeritageBank of the South. “You will use your same ATM card, checks, and make your loan payments as usual. Customers will begin to receive information on any changes over the next few months as we get closer to the transaction closing. We anticipate that that will happen in May.”
    Fountain emphasized that the staffs each Park Avenue Bank branch will remain intact.
    “We anticipate having the same local leadership that is in place today,” he said.
    While the names are very similar, HeritageBank of the South is not affiliated with The Heritage Bank based in Hinesville, Ga., which has two branch offices in Statesboro — one inside Walmart and the other on Fair Road.
    The transaction also includes branches in Baxley, Hazlehurst and Adel. It is expected to close in the second quarter of 2010, subject to regulatory approval. Once final, the sale to result in the transfer of approximately $52 million in loans and approximately $72 million in deposits, including all demand deposits, savings accounts and money market accounts.  
    "We are pleased to announce the proposed purchase of these five branches, a transaction that is attractive to us for a number of reasons,” said Leonard Dorminey, president and chief executive officer of HeritageBank of the South. “First, it continues our process of deploying our strong capital base to expand prudently to new markets and enhancing our prospects for future growth. Secondly, four of these new locations are in Southeast Georgia, which complements our footprint in the area created by our December 2009 acquisition of the Tattnall Bank in an FDIC-assisted transaction. Lastly, this transaction provides us with a significant source of low cost core deposits.”
    Heritage Financial Group is the mid-tier holding company for HeritageBank of the South, a community-oriented bank serving primarily South Georgia and North Central Florida through 10 full-service banking offices.  As of December 31, 2009, the company reported total assets of approximately $573.2 million, total stockholders' equity of approximately $62.1 million and a Total Risk-Based capital ratio of 17 percent.
    "We are excited to have this opportunity to serve these four new communities," Dorminey said.  "HeritageBank of the South has built its reputation on strength, service and the ability to meet the needs of the consumer and small business owner.  We look forward to putting those values to work for our new customers in Statesboro, Baxley, Hazlehurst, and Adel."


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