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KEY BANCSHARES ANNOUNCES LETTER OF INTENT TO MERGE WITH FIRST STERLING BANCSHARES

 KEY BANCSHARES ANNOUNCES LETTER OF INTENT
 TO MERGE WITH FIRST STERLING BANCSHARES
 TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, the directors of Key Bancshares, Inc. of Tampa, Fla., announced that they have entered into a letter of intent to merge Key Bancshares with First Sterling Bancshares, Inc., a Winter Haven, Fla., holding company.
 The Key Bank of Florida, an 18-year-old community financial institution would become the third bank within the First Sterling Bancshares Group. First Sterling currently operates banks in Osceola and Polk counties.
 First Sterling was recently named by the Community Bankers of Florida as one of the top 20 percent of the 366 community banks in Florida in terms of safety and soundness.
 Robert W. Stickler Jr., vice chairman and president of First Sterling Bancshares, commented that "Hillsborough County was the next area targeted by First Sterling for expansion and complements our two existing banks along the I-4 corridor. To have the opportunity to merge with an established institution with dedicated employees and a loyal customer base has many advantages. Our philosophy is that customers deserve local management to deal with their banking needs."
 Jerry Kyle, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Key Bank said, "We are especially pleased with the arrangement we have been able to enter into with First Sterling. I have personally known this group for sometime and have watched their community banking organization grow and prosper. Their commitment to community banking is a mirror image of our own." He stated that, "Our board believes that in First Sterling, we have found a group who shares the same philosophy as we do, to give the customer the best banking service available and to let banking decisions be made at the local level."
 The merger is subject to further due diligence and the approval by shareholders of both organizations, as well as applicable banking regulators.
 -0- 10/30/92
 /CONTACT: Robert Stickler Jr., vice chairman and president of First Sterling Bancshares, 813-965-2511/ CO: Key Bancshares, Inc.; First Sterling Bancshares, Inc. ST: Florida IN: FIN SU: TNM


JB-JJ -- FL012 -- 7314 10/30/92 16:48 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 30, 1992
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