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United Community Banks Buys Progress in $272M Deal

United is targeting an expansion into ‘attractive’ Southeastern markets

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  • Written by  Banking Exchange staff
United Community Banks Buys Progress in $272M Deal

South Carolina-based United Community Banks is to buy Alabama’s and Progress Financial Corporation, parent company of Progress Bank & Trust.

The all-stock deal is worth $271.5 million, according to a statement from the two companies.

Progress Bank & Trust has 14 offices across Alabama and the Florida panhandle region, and is responsible for $1.9 billion in total banking assets. It manages $1.7 billion in deposits and has a loan book worth $1.3 billion.

Lynn Harton, chairman and chief executive officer of United Community Banks, said: “Our [merger and acquisition] focus has continued to be on high-growth markets in the Southeast with attractive demographics and strong in-migration.

“Progress’ footprint will complement our existing markets and be accretive to our franchise value.”

In addition to offering traditional banking products, Progress also provides wealth management and private banking through its subsidiary through Progress Financial Services. This business currently has $1.2 billion in assets under management.

David Nast, president and chief executive officer of Progress, said the transaction would provide “an excellent opportunity for us to continue to serve our customers at the highest level”.

The merger is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2022 and is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals.

United Community Banks is an active acquirer, having bought advisory firm FinTrust and Aquesta Bank in May 2021, and Tennessee-based Reliant Bank in July last year.

The Aquesta and Reliant acquisitions added 34 bank branches and more than $3.6 billion in total assets, and together were valued at more than $600 million.

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