Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank’s proposed acquisition of a 176-branch South Carolina bank for at least $637 million raises questions about whether acquiring Fidelity Bank of Fuquay-Varina might be next on the to-buy list.
First Citizens announced late Tuesday that it had agreed to acquire First Citizens Bank and Trust of Columbia, S.C. A striking feature of the deal is that Raleigh’s Holding family owns a controlling interest in both banks.
But the Holding family also has controlling ownership stakes in two other banks: Fidelity Bank of Fuquay-Varina, which has 62 branches in North Carolina and southern Virginia; and Southern Bank of Mount Olive, which has 70 branches in North Carolina and Virginia.
Is Raleigh’s First Citizens interested in buying these banks too?
In an interview Wednesday, Frank Holding Jr., CEO of Raleigh’s First Citizens, declined to discuss the issue.
“We can’t discuss future strategies and plans,” he said. “Right now, this merger is our focus.”
Combining the two First Citizens will create the nation’s largest family-controlled bank with more than 575 branches in 18 states and the District of Columbia.