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FirstBank Acquires South Carolina Wholesale Mortgage Business

StellarOne Corporation Transaction Expected To Close By End Of Year

LEXINGTON, Tenn. – FirstBank has agreed to purchase the wholesale mortgage unit of StellarOne Corporation (Nasdaq: STEL), a Charlottesville, Va.-based bank holding company, officials announced today. It will become part of FirstBank Mortgage Partners, the bank’s mortgage division.

The transaction, which is expected to close by year-end, is part of a major expansion of FirstBank Mortgage Partners’ regional footprint and comes on the heels of acquisitions and new office openings in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia.

Earlier this year, FirstBank acquired Birmingham, Ala.-based Henger Rast Mortgage Corp., which added five new markets in Alabama and Georgia and 40 associates to FirstBank’s mortgage operations, and Crosstown Mortgage Group in Mt. Juliet, Tenn. It also opened a new office in the Green Hills area of Nashville. The acquisitions are also expanding FirstBank Mortgage Partners’ product lines, which include reverse mortgage, wholesale mortgage and retail mortgage services.

StellarOne’s wholesale mortgage unit, which is based in Greer, S.C., will serve as the primary fulfillment center for FirstBank’s wholesale department, said Don Holsinger, president of FirstBank Mortgage Partners.

“This is a great merger of talent for both teams,” Holsinger said, adding that the South Carolina operation will continue to be led by Mike Johnson. “Mike’s leadership and dedicated staff fit our culture like a glove.”

The agreement calls for the purchase of net assets and other considerations. For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2011, the wholesale division had gross revenues of $2.3 million and direct operating expenses of $1.9 million. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“This acquisition is really going to help us in terms of developing our business-to-business offerings much faster than we would have otherwise,” said Jim House, FirstBank Mortgage Partners’ wholesale department manager, who is based in Memphis. “It’s going to immediately open up new markets, and we are looking forward to taking advantage of those opportunities.”


About FirstBank

FirstBank is the third largest Tennessee-based bank, with 54 locations across the Southeast. The bank, headquartered in Lexington, Tenn., serves every major metropolitan market in the state and, with more than $2 billion in total assets, has the resources to provide a comprehensive variety of financial services and products.

FirstBank follows a community-banking model which began when the charter was issued in 1906 as Farmers State Bank, in Scotts Hill, Tenn. As Tennessee’s premier community bank, FirstBank is committed to its role as a leader in the communities it serves. That commitment is reflected by the Ayers Foundation Scholars program, a scholarship fund established by FirstBank Chairman and sole shareholder James W. Ayers to advance higher education for young people in Tennessee.

To learn more about FirstBank, a wholly owned subsidiary of First South Bancorp, Inc., visit www.firstbankonline.com.