SCBT to acquire troubled bank company

SCBT Financial Corp., one of the few South Carolina to undertake a strategy of acquisition over the past few years, said Tuesday it would acquire Easley-based Peoples Bancorporation.

The $28.4 million all-stock transaction will be the Columbia-based financial services company’s fourth acquisition in less than two years.

The merger will connect the Upstate and Georgia markets for SCBT, the parent company of South Carolina Bank & Trust, according to The State.

Peoples is a three-bank holding company that operates Peoples National Bank, Seneca National and Bank of Anderson.

The story in The State claimed that Peoples had been profitable in recent years, but information filed by the company with the US Securities and Exchange Commission shows a different picture.

In 2010, Peoples posted a $440,000 loss. That came on the heels of a $224,000 loss in 2009 and an $8.4 million deficit in 2008.

Subsidiary Bank of Anderson entered into a formal agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 2008 while subsidiary Peoples National Bank entered into a formal agreement with the OCC last year.

Stock in Peoples was up $2.20 a share to $3.70 in early afternoon trading Tuesday. Peoples had traded as low as $1 a share recently.

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