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Peoples BankTrust and Georgia Banking Company announced Wednesday, Nov. 10, that the Buford-based financial institution will merge with Atlanta-based GBC.

The merger agreement was unanimously approved by the respective boards of directors for Peoples and GBC.

“I made this decision with our customers and employees in mind,” said Doug Nichols, chief executive officer of Peoples. “Our partnership with GBC provides long-term growth potential for our shareholders. GBC’s strategic business plan and capital base allow for a broader range of capabilities and new business opportunities. Our companies are aligned both culturally and operationally.”

The cash and stock transaction has an aggregate value of approximately $58 million. Peoples had approximately $439 million in assets, $393 million in deposits and $151 million in loans as of Sept. 30.

“We are pleased to announce this financially compelling acquisition of Peoples,” said Bartow Morgan Jr., chief executive officer of GBC. “Expanding our franchise to serve the people of the broader metro Atlanta community is at the core of our strategic vision. The acquisition grows our market share and provides us an excellent opportunity to broaden our footprint into Buford, Georgia in a low-risk manner.”

Under the terms of the merger, Peoples shareholders will receive $58 million in aggregate transaction value in a mix of both cash and convertible preferred stock, and Peoples director Larry Cheek will join the board of directors for the GBC holding company.

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