This is a press release from The First.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The First, a National Banking Association, has announced the acquisition of Sunshine Financial bank in Tallahassee, Florida. M. Ray “Hoppy Cole”, President and Chief Executive Officer of The First, said, “Our two community Banks have come together sharing in a common purpose, delivering extraordinary personal service to our customers.”
The First will now serve customers with 63 convenient locations in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. The combined company will have approximately $ 2.4 billion in total assets, $ 2 billion in total deposits, and $ 1.6 billion in total loans.
Louis O. Davis, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Sunshine, commented, “We are very happy to join First Bancshares and believe this combination will provide significant value to our shareholders, clients and employees. We also believe this is a natural fit which increases lending capabilities, expands capital resources and provides a more expansive product offering to the Tallahassee business community.”
Commenting on the acquisition Cole said, “We are excited and look forward to welcoming the clients and employees of Sunshine to our team. Sunshine is well known in Tallahassee as a customer focused organization that delivers exemplary service. These attributes align perfectly with our commitment to service at The First.
The combination of our companies will provide increased capacity with expanded product lines to better serve our existing clients and aggressively pursue new relationships.
Tallahassee is a growing market which is a natural extension of our strategic vision to build market share in the Florida panhandle and a continuation of our plan to build a regional community bank in the Gulf South.
We welcome those Sunshine shareholders who will become shareholders of First Bancshares. Local ownership is an integral part of our community bank model. Our Company will continue to be focused on safe, sound, profitable growth and will look for opportunities to enhance shareholder value.”
The First has achieved 72 consecutive quarters of profitability and earned a 5 Star Rating (the highest given) by BauerFinancial, “the nation’s bank rating service.”