Community & Southern buys local bank

For the second time in a month, a metro Atlanta banking company is buying a healthy local bank.

Community & Southern Holdings will pay $11.80 a share for Verity Capital Group and its two bank branches, in Winder and Cornelia. Community & Southern Bank has 34 local branches.

At the end of June, Verity Bank had about $170 million in total assets, $114 million in loans and $144 million of deposits. It opened its first branch in 2008.

In a statement, Verity president Steven F. Smith said the merger enhances opportunities for customers.

“This partnership with Community & Southern will enhance our ability to fortify what Verity has been committed to building in Winder and Cornelia,” he said.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, and is subject to regulatory approval.

Community & Southern Bank was founded in 2010 and has more than $2.6 billion in assets.

At the end of August, Hamilton State Bank announced its plans to expand in north Georgia by buying Cherokee Bank for about $10 million. It was the first time in recent years a Georgia-based bank bought a healthy bank, and not one that had been taken over by federal regulators.

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