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First Bancshares to acquire Southwest Georgia Financial in all-stock deal

Hattiesburg, Miss.-based First Bancshares Inc. agreed to acquire Moultrie, Ga.-based Southwest Georgia Financial Corp., the parent company of Southwest Georgia Bank.

Southwest Georgia Financial shareholders will receive 1.00 First Bancshares common share for each share of Southwest Georgia Financial common stock. This equates to $34.50 per share or about $88 million in the aggregate, based on 2,548,510 shares of Southwest Georgia Financial common stock outstanding and First Bancshares' closing price of $34.50 per share as of Dec. 17.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020. Southwest Georgia Financial will pay First Bancshares a termination fee equal to about $3.8 million in certain events, according to a Form 8-K filed by First Bancshares.

Under the terms of the agreement, Southwest Georgia Financial will be merged into First Bancshares. The combined company, including First Bancshares' recently completed acquisition of First Florida Bancorp Inc., will have approximately $4.5 billion in total assets, $3.6 billion in total deposits and $3.0 billion in total loans, according to a news release.

Southwest Georgia Financial had about $548 million in consolidated assets at Sept. 30, according to the news release. First Bancshares, the holding company for First, A National Banking Association, had $3.48 billion in assets as of the same date, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

Keefe Bruyette & Woods Inc. served as financial adviser to First Bancshares, and Alston & Bird LLP acted as its legal adviser. Banks Street Partners served as financial adviser to Southwest Georgia Financial, and Troutman Sanders LLP acted as its legal adviser.