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ABC Bancorp Takes New Name; Action Unifies Subsidiaries Under One Banner.

MOULTRIE, Ga. -- Edwin W. Hortman Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, announced today ABC Bancorp (Nasdaq:ABCB) will unite its subsidiary banks under one common name. Effective December 1, 2005, the banks will operate under the name Ameris, while ABC Bancorp will change its name to Ameris Bancorp.

"Our new brand signifies a renewed commitment to our unique style of community banking - one that is grounded in personal relationships," said Hortman. "Ameris is from the Latin word 'amicus' or friend. So, in a single word, we have captured the spirit of our style of community banking."

In August, ABC Bancorp announced plans to consolidate the holding company's 12 subsidiary banks into a single charter. The charter consolidation and branding initiative indicate a change in strategy for the Company. These efforts allow ABC to reduce redundant practices and shift more existing employees into sales and customer contact roles. A single, highly recognizable brand creates a more effective platform for its unique style of community banking. Savings gained from the new strategy will enable the Company to accelerate expansion into growth markets, a move management sees as critical to continue delivering attractive growth in earnings.

Ameris Bancorp will continue to trade under the ticker symbol "ABCB," the same symbol ABC Bancorp has traded under for more than 10 years. ABC Bancorp has the advantage of approximately 5,000 shareholders and average daily trading volume of more than 15,000 shares. Since 1994, ABC's stock has had an annualized return of approximately 17%. ABC's existing operations are profitable and have produced double-digit growth in loans, deposits and earnings per share for the first three quarters of 2005.

"Our leadership has been intensely focused this year on developing and implementing long-term strategies. These strategies build on the Company's legacy as we craft a high performing community bank that can exceed the expectations of its shareholders, customers and employees," said Hortman. "The new brand captures our employees' pride associated with 35 years of successful community banking and communicates our commitment to continued success as one team across all of our markets."

ABC Bancorp is in the process of notifying customers, shareholders and vendors about its upcoming name change. Additionally, the Company will launch a marketing campaign in December to help with the name transition and build brand recognition.

ABC Bancorp is headquartered in Moultrie, Georgia, and has 37 banking locations in Georgia, Alabama and northern Florida.

ABC Bancorp Common Stock is quoted on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol "ABCB". The preceding release contains statements that constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The words "believe", "estimate", "expect", "intend", "anticipate" and similar expressions and variations thereof identify certain of such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the dates which they were made. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Readers are cautioned that any such forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, and that actual results may differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking.

Editor's/reporter's note: The Ameris logo is attached.
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Comment:ABC Bancorp Takes New Name; Action Unifies Subsidiaries Under One Banner.
Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 17, 2005
Words:563
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