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FIRST CITIZENS BANCORP AND FIRST NATIONAL BANCORP AGREE TO MERGE

 FIRST CITIZENS BANCORP AND FIRST NATIONAL BANCORP AGREE TO MERGE
 GAINESVILLE, Ga., May 19 /PRNewswire/ -- First Citizens Bancorp of Cherokee County, Inc. and First National Bancorp of Gainesville, Ga., (NASDAQ: FBAC) announced today that they have signed a Letter of Intent that agrees to a merger between the two banking companies.
 The merger will be created by means of a tax-free exchange of Bancorp common stock. First Citizens Bancorp is the parent company of the 66-year-old Citizens Bank of Ball Ground, a bank with assets of $74 million and four locations in the rapidly growing Cherokee County.
 This business transaction is subject to the execution of a definitive Merger Agreement, approval of the shareholders of First Citizens Bancorp and approval of the appropriate federal and state regulatory authorities.
 A. Roy Roberts Jr., chairman of First Citizens Bancorp, explained that the merger presents an exciting opportunity for their organization.
 "Our bank has a 66-year-old tradition for customer service and commitment to our community. One thing that really attracted us to a merger with First National Bancorp is that all its affiliates are allowed to function autonomously. The Citizens Bank of Ball Ground will continue to operate under the existing charter and name while maintaining its local management and board of directors."
 Cherokee County is the fifth-fastest growing county in the state of Georgia. In the decade spanning 1980 to 1990 the county's population grew by 75 percent. With a population of 91,000, Cherokee is the state's 12th-largest county.
 First National Bancorp was recently ranked by U.S. Banker as the 27th most profitable banking company out of the Top 60 from across the United States. In the past five years, it has seen 100 percent growth in assets (from $934 million to $1.8 billion) and increased from eight affiliate banks to the present number of 12.
 Rick McNeece, chairman and CEO of First National Bancorp, looks forward to officially welcoming Citizens Bank of Ball Ground as the 13th affiliate.
 "This presents a great opportunity for us to enter an additional growth market," he explained. "Our banking philosophy of excellent customer service and performance is a perfect fit with the philosophy of Chairman Roy Roberts and everyone connected to First Citizens Bancorp."
 The current affiliate banks of First National Bancorp are: First National Bank of Gainesville; Bank of Clayton; First National Bank of White County; First National Bank of Habersham; The Peoples Bank of Forsyth County; First National Bank of Paulding County; Granite City Bank; First National Bank of Gilmer County; Bank of Banks County; Pickens County Bank; First National Bank of Jackson County, and The Citizens Bank of Toccoa.
 -0- 5/19/92
 /CONTACT: Pete Miller, president and CFO of First National Bancorp, 404-535-5566/
 (FBAC) CO: First National Bancorp; First Citizens Bancorp of Cherokee
 County, Inc. ST: Georgia IN: FIN SU: TNM


BR-BN -- AT003 -- 1667 05/19/92 09:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 19, 1992
Words:482
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