KNOXVILLE, Tenn. and FRANKLIN, N.C., January 15, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – SmartFinancial, Inc. (Nasdaq: SMBK) (“SmartFinancial”), the parent company of SmartBank, and Entegra Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: ENFC) (“Entegra”), the parent company of Entegra Bank, jointly announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which Entegra will combine with SmartFinancial in a strategic merger of equals. The merger agreement contemplates the merger of Entegra with and into SmartFinancial and the subsequent merger of Entegra Bank with and into SmartBank. The combination, an all-stock transaction, will create an approximate $4 billion-asset bank holding company with 47 branches across Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida, serving a number of key Southeastern growth markets.
Knoxville, Tennessee-based SmartFinancial has approximately $2.3 billion in total assets following its most recent acquisition of Foothills Bancorp, Inc. that was completed on November 1, 2018. Franklin, North Carolina-based Entegra had approximately $1.7 billion in total assets as of September 30, 2018.
The combined company will be headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, with a significant portion of the combined bank’s operations to be based in Franklin, North Carolina. Billy Carroll and Miller Welborn will continue to lead the combined company as President & CEO and Chairman, respectively. Additionally, the combined company is expected to benefit from the integration of key management and directors from Entegra into the SmartFinancial executive team and board of directors. Entegra President & CEO Roger D. Plemens is expected to join the combined bank as President of the Carolinas. Entegra Chief Financial Officer David Bright and Chief Operating Officer Ryan Scaggs are expected to assume the same roles with the combined company.