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KEY CENTURION ANNOUNCES MOVE INTO EASTERN W.VA. PANHANDLE

 KEY CENTURION ANNOUNCES MOVE INTO EASTERN W.VA. PANHANDLE
 CHARLESTON, W.Va., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Key Centurion Bancshares, Inc. (NASDAQ: KEYC), West Virginia's largest bank holding company, today announced an agreement in principle by which People's Bank of Charles Town in Charles Town, W.Va. will become a wholly owned affiliate.
 For Key Centurion, which has assets of more than $3 billion dollars and shareholder equity exceeding $290 million, the transaction will provide initial entry into the fastest growing section of West Virginia, the eastern panhandle near Washington, D.C. The transaction, based upon an exchange of 1.5 shares of Key Centurion common stock for each share of People's stock, has an initial market value of $2.52 million, based on Key Centurion's most recent closing stock price.
 People's, which has two full service locations, one each in Charles Town and Shepherdstown in Jefferson County, W.Va., had assets of $62.4 million with deposits of $60.1 million as of Sept. 30, 1991.
 Marshall Reynolds, chairman of Key Centurion, called the move "an excellent opportunity for us to become a partner in eastern West Virginia's exploding growth." The eastern panhandle, which has become a business, residential and recreational suburb of the nation's capital, has shown a rapid population growth during the past decade. "In return," he continued, "we bring the financial strength of Key Centurion to People's and provide the opportunity to fully participate in this growth," Reynolds said. "With this merger the bank can help provide some of the capital needed to support and serve their communities."
 The chairman of People's, James M. Davis, called the move "a great opportunity for both parties." The agreement, subject to execution of a definitive merger agreement and approval by shareholders of People's and various regulatory agencies, "will give us the best of both worlds," Davis said. "We expect to continue to serve Charles Town as we have in the past, with our same board, officers and staff. But we gain a strengthened financial structure plus the potential for expanded services," he said.
 A. Michael Perry, president of Key Centurion, expressed pleasure that the board of People's has agreed to affiliate with Key Centurion. "They could have chosen any number of companies. Their board picked Key Centurion because they believe in our philosophy of local banks serving local communities, operated by people who know and live in the community," Perry said.
 "We believe in both People's and in the future of the eastern "We see this as a base for future growth in one of the few areas of West Virginia where we had previously been unrepresented."
 "We have always said the future of Key Centurion is inextricably linked to the future of West Virginia. And nowhere in the state is the future any brighter than in the area around Charles Town," Perry concluded.
 Steve Morris, President and CEO of People's, indicated that the transaction could close by the end of the second quarter l992. "We view this as a new opportunity not only for our shareholders, but our employees and customers as well," Morris said. "Our asset growth has out paced our equity growth. It was always a somewhat frustrating problem to know the opportunities were there if the equity was there. Now that ceiling has been lifted and our people are excited about our potential."
 Key Centurion currently has bank subsidiaries with 54 offices in West Virginia and Kentucky, operating as Beckley National Bank, Beckley and Oak Hill; The Central National Bank of Buckhannon, Buckhannon; Charleston National Bank, Charleston; Union National Bank of West Virginia, Clarksburg; The First Huntington National Bank, Huntington; The Lincoln National Bank of Hamlin, Hamlin; The National Bank of Logan, Logan; Boone National Bank, Madison; The First National Bank of New Martinsville, New Martinsville; First National Bank in Philippi, Philippi; Citizens National of Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant; Citizens National Bank of St. Albans, St. Albans; Nicholas County Bank, Summersville; Security National Bank & Trust, Wheeling; Wayne County Bank, Wayne; The National Bank of Commerce of Williamson, Williamson, all in West Virginia and First National Bank of Pikeville, Pikeville, Ky.
 /CONTACT: Larry A. Stark of Key Centurion Bancshares, 304-526-4337, or home at 304-529-3624/
 (KEYC) CO: Key Centurian Bancshares, Inc. ST: West Virginia, Kentucky IN: FIN SU:


CD -- PG012 -- 2610 12/16/91 15:24 EST
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Date:Dec 16, 1991
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