First Reliance Bancshares, Inc. and Independence Bancshares, Inc. Receive All Required Regulatory and Shareholder Approvals for Pending Merger

Friday, January 12th, 2018

First Reliance Bancshares, Inc. announced that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions have granted the regulatory approvals necessary for the pending mergers of Independence Bancshares, Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Independence National Bank, with and into First Reliance and its subsidiary, First Reliance Bank.  The merger is expected to close on January 19, 2018, with full conversion of the banks' operating systems scheduled for March 5, 2018.  Additionally, First Reliance and Independence announces that the merger received the necessary approval from the shareholders of Independence at a special meeting on January 9, 2018.  The merger does not require approval from the shareholders of First Reliance.

Under terms of the merger agreement, holders of Independence common stock will receive $0.125 per share, and holders of its convertible preferred stock will receive the redemption price of $1,000 per share.  The total transaction value is approximately $11.0 million.  First Reliance also expects to recover Independence's deferred tax assets and other related tax benefits totaling approximately $1.9 million.  The transaction is expected to be slightly dilutive to First Reliance's 2018 tangible book value per share, including one-time transaction costs, and accretive to First Reliance's fully diluted earnings per share for 2018.

The combined company is expected to have approximately $532.9 million in assets, $369.3 million in gross loans, $432.4 million in deposits, 11 banking offices in South Carolina, including a branch in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina expected to open in February 2018, and a loan production office in Winston Salem, North Carolina.