Mountain 1st Bank shareholders approve First Citizens deal

The shareholders of the corporate parent of Mountain 1st Bank & Trust of Hendersonville have approved the pending acquisition by Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank.

The shareholders of the struggling Mountain 1st, which has a dozen branches in Western North Carolina, voted Tuesday in favor of the deal that was announced in August.

First Citizens has agreed to pay $10 million for Mountain 1st, with $2 million going to shareholders and the remainder going to pay back funds that Mountain 1st received under the federal bailout program for banks, the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Mountain 1st has been under pressure to raise additional capital since entering into a consent order with state and federal regulators in 2010.

The deal, which is legally defined as a merger, also has been approved by the state banking commissoner. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. also must approve the deal, which is expected to be consummated as soon as Jan. 1.

First Citizens has more than 400 branches in 17 states and the District of Columbia, including 259 across North Carolina.

First Citizens shares closed Tuesday at $222.31, down $1.99. The stock is up 36 percent this year.