Ameris Bancorp announced Monday an agreement to buy Atlanta-based Fidelity Southern Corp., parent company of Fidelity Bank, for $751 million in stock.
Ameris is officially headquartered in Moultrie, Georgia, but its executive offices are in Jacksonville. Its Ameris Bank subsidiary has 19 branches in the Jacksonville market while Atlanta-based Fidelity has seven.
Fidelity Bank is not affiliated with Jacksonville-based title insurance company Fidelity National Financial Inc.
Ameris has a total of 129 branches in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and South Carolina while Fidelity has 62 in Georgia and Florida.
Upon completion of the merger, which is expected in the second quarter of 2019, Ameris CEO Dennis Zember will remain CEO and Fidelity President Palmer Proctor will become president of the holding company. But Proctor will become CEO of the Ameris Bank subsidiary.
Fidelity CEO James Miller will become executive chairman of the holding company.
“The combination of Ameris and Fidelity joins two franchises that are very similar in culture, complementary in terms of our lines of business and well positioned competitively,” Proctor said in a news release.
Ameris agreed to issue 0.8 shares of its stock for every share of Fidelity. Based on Friday’s closing price, that values the deal at $27.22 per Fidelity share. Fidelity’s stock closed at $21.42 on Friday