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Blue Ridge Bank To Become Subsidiary of FCFT, Inc.

SPARTA, N.C., Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Guy L. Scott, Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer of Blue Ridge Bank, Sparta, North Carolina, and James L. Harrison, Sr., President & Chief Executive Officer of FCFT, Inc., are pleased to announce that their respective corporations have entered into a Letter of Intent which provides for Blue Ridge to become a separate subsidiary of FCFT, Inc. Blue Ridge, with total resources of $103 million at September 30, 1996, is headquartered in Sparta, North Carolina and was formed in 1987. Blue Ridge operates, in addition to its main office in Sparta, branches in Elkin, Taylorsville, and Hays, North Carolina. There are no changes anticipated in officers or employees, members of the Board Directors, or name of Blue Ridge Bank resulting from this affiliation. President Scott expressed his enthusiasm for the affiliation citing improved opportunities for the employees of Blue Ridge and greatly enhanced ability of Blue Ridge to offer expanded services, including new products and greater lending capacity. Scott was pleased that Blue Ridge was able to affiliate with an organization which believes that there is a bright future in community banking and believes that community banks must provide high touch, high tech service to their customers in order to be successful.

The transaction, which is subject to Definitive Agreement, approval by Blue Ridge shareholders and regulatory approvals, is anticipated to close on or before March 31, 1997. The Letter of Intent provides that the shareholders of Blue Ridge will receive cash or notes equal to $19.50 per share for each share of Blue Ridge held by them with the transaction valued at over $24 million. Shareholders of Blue Ridge will be able to elect cash or notes after their approval of the transaction.

The combination of the two companies will result in a $925 million bank holding company with 27 full-service banking locations. Harrison expressed his excitement regarding the proposal stating that Blue Ridge provides a good corporate fit with its community-based banking philosophy and its North Carolina market which complements First Community's growing southern presence.

FCFT, Inc. currently has 4,517,498 shares of common stock outstanding and approximately 2,200 shareholders. It is the parent of First Community Bank, Inc., First Community Bank of Mercer County, Inc., and Citizens Bank of Tazewell, Inc. with operations in Taylor, Webster, Upshur, Nicholas, Wyoming, Mercer, and Preston counties in West Virginia and two locations in Tazewell County, Virginia, with its headquarters in Princeton, Mercer County, West Virginia. FCFT, Inc. resulted from the merger of First Community Bancshares, Inc. and Flat Top Bankshares, Inc., two prominent West Virginia holding companies, in 1990. The heritage of the Company dates back to 1873.

SOURCE Blue Ridge Bank
 -0- 11/25/96

/CONTACT: Guy L. Scott, Jr., President & Chief Executive Officer, Blue Ridge Bank, 910-372-2265, or John M. Mendez, Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, FCFT, Inc., 304-487-9000, Ext. 140/

CO: Blue Ridge Bank; FCFT, Inc. ST: North Carolina, West Virginia, Virginia IN: FIN SU: TNM

CM -- CHM008 -- 3662 11/25/96 11:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 25, 1996
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