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FIRST SOUTHERN BANCORP, INC. ANNOUNCES PLANS TO ACQUIRE PERPETUAL SAVINGS BANK, SSB OF LEXINGTON, N.C.

 ASHEBORO, N.C., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- William D. Hoover, president and chief executive officer of First Southern Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: FSOU), Asheboro, N.C., and B. Glenn Smith, president and chief executive officer of Perpetual Savings Bank, SSB, Lexington, N.C., today jointly announced the execution of a letter of intent pursuant to which Perpetual Savings Bank would be acquired by First Southern Bancorp, Inc.
 The letter of intent provides for the conversion of Perpetual Savings Bank from a state chartered mutual savings bank to a state chartered capital stock savings bank and for the simultaneous acquisition of Perpetual Savings Bank by First Southern Bancorp, Inc. The conversion and acquisition are subject to a number of conditions, including the negotiation of a definitive acquisition agreement, approval by applicable regulatory authorities and the affirmative vote of the eligible members of Perpetual Savings Bank.
 The conversion and acquisition will not affect the terms and balances of accounts at Perpetual Savings Bank or the FDIC insurance coverage of such accounts.
 In connection with the conversion and acquisition, shares of First Southern Bancorp, Inc. common stock will be offered in a subscription offering (at a 15 percent discount to the then-market price, subject to certain conditions) to Perpetual Savings Bank's eligible account holders and in a community offering (at a 5 percent discount to the then-market price). The number of shares to be offered in the subscription and community offerings will be determined by dividing the pro forma market value of Perpetual Savings Bank, as determined by an independent appraiser, by the market price of First Southern Bancorp, Inc. common stock. The offerings will be made only by means of a prospectus.
 "Perpetual Savings Bank is a healthy, high quality financial institution with a reputation for excellent customer service," commented Hoover. "We are excited about the prospects of having Perpetual Savings Bank join our organization."
 Smith said, "Our decision to affiliate with First Southern Bancorp, Inc. follows a thorough review of our strategic alternatives. We believe this decision will best serve the interests of our customers, employees and communities."
 Perpetual Savings Bank, SSB is located in Lexington, N.C. and reported assets of $37 million on June 30, 1993.
 First Southern Bancorp, Inc. is the parent holding company for First Southern Savings Bank, Inc., SSB, which has nine offices in Asheboro (3 offices), Archdale, Candor, Hamlet, Laurinburg, Hendersonville and Asheville, N.C.
 First Southern Bancorp, Inc. reported total assets of $295.5 million on June 30, 1993. First Southern Bancorp's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ/National Market System and is listed under the symbol "FSOU."
 -0- 9/14/93
 /CONTACT: T. Allen Liles, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, First Southern Bancorp, 919-626-8635, or B. Glenn Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer, Perpetual Savings Bank, 704-249-8111/
 (FSOU)


CO: First Southern Bancorp, Inc.; Perpetual Savings Bank, SSB ST: North Carolina IN: FIN SU: TNM

SB -- CH011 -- 1975 09/14/93 17:43 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 14, 1993
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