MARIETTA, Ga.—The $1.2-billion LGE Community Credit Union has agreed to purchase Dallas, Ga.-based Georgia Heritage Bank.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2018, pending shareholder and state and national regulator approvals. The boards of directors of both organizations have approved the transaction.
As CUToday.info previously reported, the pace of credit unions buying banks has quickened this year. The LGE buy of the $95-million community bank marks the fourth such deal in less than three months.
“With LGE Community Credit Union and Georgia Heritage Bank coming together it will deepen LGE’s commitment to business and commercial banking,” said Chris Leggett, president and CEO of LGE Community Credit Union. “We look forward to transitioning Georgia Heritage Bank’s customers to LGE members so they can see firsthand we are a member-owned, not-for-profit cooperative. We pride ourselves on staying dedicated to improving the financial well-being of our members through economically priced and conveniently delivered services, caring personal service and sound financial management.”
As CUToday.info has reported, credit unions are buying more banks that are profitable. Georgia Heritage made a profit of $4.4 million last year, according to FDIC data.
“With this transaction we are pleased to know that our customers will have access to more branches and services making it more convenient and easier for them to bank,” said Genevieve Cole, president and CEO of Georgia Heritage Bank. “LGE has built a reputation in the community as one of the leading financial institutions dedicated to giving back to the people in the area.”
LGE Community Credit Union currently operates 11 branches. The acquisition will give LGE two additional branches.
Michael Bell, attorney and counselor Royal-Oak, Mich.-based Howard & Howard, who is representing LGE, told CUToday.info that the pace of these deals will only accelerate.
“I am seeing an uptick in activity nationally but the concentration continues to be in the Southeast and Midwest. I expect to announce more deals in the second quarter of 2018,” said Bell, who has been part of 22 CU/bank deals, including three mergers of a bank into a credit union.