South State Corp. and Park Sterling Corp. Merge

4/27/17

COLUMBIA, S.C. & CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--South State Corporation (NASDAQ:SSB) and Park Sterling Corporation (NASDAQ:PSTB) jointly announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement. Combining the two companies will create a $14.5 billion in assets franchise operating throughout the Carolinas, Virginia and Georgia.

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Park Sterling Corporation is the holding company for Park Sterling Bank, which has over 50 branches across NC, SC, VA and GA. This opportunity will allow for a deeper and denser market presence across the Southeast, a more robust commercial business strategy, a greater presence in Charlotte and entry into the Richmond market.

“Our partnership with Park Sterling is a natural next step. We both have a common vision for building a quality regional bank in the Southeast, and this is a significant step forward in accomplishing that goal,” said Robert R. Hill, Jr., CEO South State Corporation. “We are fortunate to have two great teams that operate in dynamic markets and we are excited about the opportunities this merger creates.”

As of March 31, 2017, Park Sterling Corporation had approximately $3.3 billion in assets, $2.5 billion in deposits and $2.5 billion in loans. Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will have approximately $14.5 billion in assets, $11.5 billion in deposits and $10.4 billion in loans.

“Our team is proud to be partnering with South State to create what we believe will come to be recognized as the preeminent regional community banking franchise in the Southeast,” said James C. Cherry, CEO of Park Sterling Corporation. “This combination will substantially fulfill our vision of truly becoming big enough to have the talent and services necessary to help customers achieve their financial aspirations while still remaining small enough and passionate enough to care that they do.”

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company. Pending regulatory and shareholder approvals and other customary closing conditions, the closing is anticipated to occur in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the system conversion is scheduled to occur in the first quarter of 2018. At closing, Park Sterling Corporation will be merged into South State Corporation, and Park Sterling’s bank subsidiary, Park Sterling Bank, will be merged into South State’s bank subsidiary, South State Bank.

Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc., served as financial advisor, and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal counsel to South State Corporation. Stephens Inc. served as financial advisor, and McGuireWoods LLP served as legal counsel to Park Sterling Corporation.

South State Corporation is the largest bank holding company headquartered in South Carolina. Founded in 1933, the company’s primary subsidiary, South State Bank, has been serving the financial needs of its local communities in 25 South Carolina counties, 15 Georgia counties and 4 North Carolina counties for over 80 years. The bank also operates Minis & Co., Inc. and South State Advisory, both registered investment advisors; and First Southeast Investor Services, Inc., a limited purpose broker-dealer. South State Corporation has assets of approximately $11.2 billion and its stock is traded under the symbol SSB on the NASDAQ Global Select Market. More information can be found at www.SouthStateBank.com.

Park Sterling Corporation, the holding company for Park Sterling Bank, is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. Park Sterling, a regional community-focused financial services company with $3.3 billion in assets, is the largest community bank headquartered in the Charlotte area and has 53 banking offices stretching across the Carolinas and into North Georgia, as well as in Richmond, Virginia. The bank serves professionals, individuals, and small and mid-sized businesses by offering a full array of financial services, including deposit, mortgage banking, cash management, consumer and business finance, capital markets and wealth management services with a commitment to "Answers You Can Bank OnSM" Park Sterling prides itself on being large enough to help customers achieve their financial aspirations, yet small enough to care that they do. Park Sterling is focused on building a banking franchise that is noted for sound risk management, strong community focus and exceptional customer service. For more information, visit www.parksterlingbank.com. Park Sterling Corporation shares are traded on NASDAQ under the symbol PSTB.

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