Entegra Financial Corp. to Acquire Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia


FRANKLIN, N.C. and GAINESVILLE, Ga., June 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Entegra Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:ENFC) the parent holding company of Entegra Bank, and Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia today jointly announced the signing of a definitive agreement pursuant to which Entegra will purchase Chattahoochee for $14.75 per share or 1.4 times March 31, 2017 book value through a combination of cash and stock valued at approximately $34.9 million.

Chattahoochee currently operates one branch in Gainesville, Georgia and a loan production office in Duluth, Georgia and will add approximately $197 million in assets, $155 million in loans, and $166 million in deposits to Entegra Bank.

Commenting on the announcement, Roger Plemens, President and Chief Executive Officer of Entegra, said, “We are excited to partner with Chattahoochee as we continue to expand our existing footprint in northern Georgia. Chattahoochee has a proven track record of strong loan and deposit growth that will complement our strategy of building long-term franchise value by diversifying into high growth markets. With an unemployment rate of 3.8%, Gainesville is among the 50 fastest growing metro areas in the U.S. and home to more than 300 manufacturing and processing companies. Chattahoochee is one of the premier commercial banks in Gainesville and brings Entegra a talented team of six lenders with deep commercial experience.”

Jody Lail, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chattahoochee, added, “We are excited to partner with Entegra in continuing to grow our commercial banking presence in our northeast Georgia market. Entegra provides additional capital strength to allow our commercial banking team to greatly expand lending and cash management services to both our existing customer base and our rapidly expanding business community. We are also pleased that Entegra will bring additional services for our consumer customers, including residential mortgage and investments.”

The transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, has been unanimously approved by the Board of Directors of both companies and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and approval by the shareholders of Chattahoochee.

Excluding estimated transaction expenses, the acquisition is expected to be more than 15% accretive to 2018 earnings and to have a tangible book value earn-back period of approximately 4.50 years. Upon completion of this transaction, Entegra will have approximately $1.6 billion in assets, $950 million in loans, and $1.2 billion in deposits.

Entegra Financial Corp. and Entegra Bank were advised in the transaction by Sandler O’Neill + Partners, L.P. as financial advisor and Brooks, Pierce, McLendon, Humphrey & Leonard, LLP as legal counsel. Chattahoochee was advised in the transaction by Banks Street Partners, LLC as financial advisor and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP as legal counsel.

About Entegra Financial Corp.

Entegra Financial Corp. with total assets of $1.4 billion at March 31, 2017, is headquartered in Franklin, North Carolina and is the holding company of Entegra Bank. Entegra’s shares trade on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “ENFC”.

Entegra Bank operates a total of 17 branches located throughout the Western North Carolina counties of Cherokee, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Polk and Transylvania, the Upstate South Carolina counties of Anderson, Greenville, and Spartanburg and the northern Georgia county of Pickens. The Bank also operates loan production offices in Asheville, North Carolina and Clemson, South Carolina. For further information, visit the Bank’s website www.entegrabank.com

About Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia

Chattahoochee was founded in 2008 and provides commercial banking services through its banking office in Gainesville, Georgia and loan production office in Duluth, Georgia. For further information, visit the Bank’s website www.chattahoocheebank.com.

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