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FEDERAL RESERVE APPROVES BARNETT/FIRST FLORIDA MERGER

 FEDERAL RESERVE APPROVES BARNETT/FIRST FLORIDA MERGER
 JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Federal Reserve


Board has approved the merger of First Florida Banks, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: FFBK) with Barnett Banks, Inc. (NYSE: BBI).
 The approval is conditioned upon the divestiture of four offices in Citrus and Highland counties containing approximately $99 million in deposits as of June 30, 1991, together with the loans associated with those offices. Barnett also has been advised that the U.S. Department of Justice has completed its review of the transaction and will not impose additional divestitures on the merger.
 "We are pleased that, after a thorough review, the federal agencies have recognized that the combination of our two companies is appropriate," said Charles E. Rice, Barnett chairman and chief executive officer. "We are eager to proceed with a new level of service for the citizens and businesses of Florida by combining the two organizations to create a strong Florida-based Super-Community bank."
 Barnett and First Florida have provided the Attorney General of the state of Florida the same materials furnished to the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Department of Justice. Barnett understands that the Attorney General is continuing to review the transaction.
 After the merger, Barnett will be the 17th-largest banking company in the United States with $38 billion in assets.
 Barnett plans to negotiate with potential purchasers for the sale of two First Florida and two Barnett offices in anticipation of a closing prior to year-end.
 The offices to be divested are:
 -- Barnett's Meadowcrest location at 1500 North Meadowcrest Blvd.,
 Crystal River.
 -- Barnett's Citrus Springs location at 1024 North Florida Ave.,
 Citrus Springs.
 -- First Florida's Floral City location at 7697 South Florida Ave.,
 Floral City.
 -- First Florida's Lake Placid office at 2 Interlake Blvd., Lake
 Placid.
 With $5.5 billion in assets and 144 offices in the central and western areas of Florida, Tampa-based First Florida Banks, Inc. is Florida's fifth-largest banking company.
 With $32.6 billion in assets and 596 offices in Florida and Georgia, Barnett Banks, Inc. is Florida's leading financial institution and the 19th-largest banking company in the United States. Its stock (BBI) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
 -0- 10/28/92
 /CONTACT: Bob Stickler (media), 904-791-5437, or home, 904-396-9284; or Helen Rowan (analysts), 904-791-7627, or home, 904-272-6915, both of Barnett Banks, Inc./
 (BBI FFBK) CO: Barnett Banks, Inc.; First Florida Banks, Inc. ST: Florida IN: FIN SU: TNM


AW-JB -- FL017 -- 6294 10/28/92 17:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 28, 1992
Words:412
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