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SOUTHERN NATIONAL, REGENCY BANCSHARES AGREE TO MERGE

 LUMBERTON, N.C., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern National Corporation (NYSE: SNB) announced today that it has entered into a letter agreement to merge with Regency Bancshares Inc. (NASDAQ: RBSI) of Hickory in a stock swap worth $50.4 million. Regency is a bank holding company whose principal subsidiaries are First Savings Bank, SSB of Hickory and Davidson Savings Bank, SSB of Lexington.
 The two savings banks, with offices located throughout the North Carolina Piedmont region, will increase Southern National's assets by $280 million and provide Southern National entry into four new markets: Lenoir, Welcome, Denton and Lexington. The transaction will more than double Southern National's market share in Hickory while improving its ranking there from fifth to second.
 Each savings bank currently operates five offices: Hickory-based First Savings with four offices in Hickory and one in Lenior and Lexington-based Davidson Savings with offices in Lexington, Welcome, Denton and Statesville. Southern National has an existing office in Statesville. Regency offices will become Southern National Bank offices.
 "We believe that our shareholders, customers and employees will be extremely pleased," said Regency Chairman J.B. Lopp. "Southern National holds many of the same values and philosophies we do and that, I believe, makes this merger very compatible."
 Based on Southern National's closing stock price on April 29 of $20.75, the exchange ratio would be 1.7681 shares of Southern National stock for each of the 1,373,743 outstanding shares and options of Regency, providing Regency shareholders a value of $36.69 per share. The exact exchange ratio will be determined at the end of a pricing period just prior to closing and will be based on the then outstanding shares and options.
 For the nine months ended March 31, 1993, Regency reported earnings of $2.1 million and fully-diluted earnings per share of $1.59. For the nine months, its annualized ROA was 1.02 percent.
 Southern National and Regency have entered into a letter agreement, which is subject to approval by regulators and shareholders of Regency. Regency has also granted Southern National an option to purchase 290,000 shares at a price of $24 per share.
 "This merger will be particularly beneficial to our customers," said Regency President and Chief Executive Officer Wilbert W. Seabock. "Southern National has a comprehensive selection of services and products that will give our customers the advantages of banking with one of the top financial institutions in the region."
 Southern National plans to add Automated Teller Machines at five of Regency's offices as well as build a new main office in Lexington. In addition, Southern National has committed $6 million to the Regency communities for low-to-moderate income housing loans.
 "We're merging with two very fine savings banks," said Southern National Chairman Glenn Orr. "They have good, quality people who are very service oriented. We're extremely excited about what this merger does for us in this part of the state. It enhances our franchise in the central Piedmont area and gives us a major presence in Hickory."
 Southern National merged earlier this year with First Federal Savings Bank in Winston-Salem and acquired last year Workmen's Bancorp, Inc. of Mount Airy. Combined, these two institutions added more than $600 million in assets to Southern National's presence in the northern Piedmont region.
 Southern National announced in March a merger with East Coast Savings Bank, SSB of Goldsboro, a $256 million asset thrift that will make Southern National the largest bank in Fayetteville, the state's fifth largest financial market. Through the merger of First Federal earlier this year, Southern National increased its market share to second in Winston-Salem, the state's fourth largest financial market.
 Currently the sixth largest bank in North Carolina, Southern National will have assets of approximately $5.6 billion once the mergers with Regency and East Coast are completed. Southern National operates 158 branches in 84 cities and communities in North and South Carolina.
 -0- 4/29/93
 /CONTACT: Bob Denham, Public Relations, 919-671-2427, or John R. Spruill, Chief Financial Officer, 919-671-2530, both of Southern National Corporation; or J.B. Lopp, Chairman, 704-243-2461, or Wilbert W. Seabock, President and CEO, 704-323-1600, both of Regency Bancshares/
 (SNB RBSI)


CO: Southern National Corporation; Regency Bancshares Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: FIN SU: TNM

CM -- CH019 -- 2883 04/29/93 17:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 29, 1993
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