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Chattahoochee Bank in Gainesville bought by North Carolina bank
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The Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia, located on E.E. Butler Parkway in Gainesville, is being purchased by Entegra Bank. - photo by David Barnes

Gainesville’s Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia has been purchased by North Carolina-based Entegra Financial Corp., the holding company of Entegra Bank.

The purchase of Chattahoochee with a mix of stock and cash was announced on Tuesday. Entegra paid $34.9 million — 70 percent cash and 30 percent stock — for the commercial bank on E.E. Butler Parkway, according to the announcement. The value per share is $14.75.

The purchase is expected to close in October.

The North Carolina bank has 17 branches and, after buying Chattahoochee Bank, $1.6 billion in assets, $950 million in loans and $1.2 billion in deposits.

Chattahoochee Bank has $197 million in assets, $155 million in loans and $166 million in deposits, according to the announcement, as well as a loan production office in Duluth. Both of its locations will carry the Entegra name after the purchase.

Entegra CEO Roger Plemens said his company set its sights on Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia because of its location.

“With an unemployment rate of (3.9 percent), Gainesville is among the 50 fastest growing metro areas in the U.S. and home to more than 300 manufacturing and processing companies,” Plemens said. “Chattahoochee is one of the premier commercial banks in Gainesville and brings Entegra a talented team of six lenders with deep commercial experience.”

The purchase has been approved by boards of both banks but still needs regulatory approval, said Jody Lail, CEO of Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia.

Chattahoochee Bank’s current lending limit is $5 million, Lail told The Times, and that will rise to $14 million once the Entegra purchase is complete.

“We currently bank some local manufacturing companies, professionals like dentists and orthodontists, some restaurant franchise owners, a fair amount of office and warehouse — we have a pretty diverse customer base,” he said. “This will just allow us to continue to grow with our customers.”

Chattahoochee Bank has almost two dozen employees. Its front-line customer service staff and its six commercial lenders will stay with the company, Lail said.

Some back-office, supportive duties will be taken over by existing Entegra employees, Lail said, noting he didn’t want to get into details about whether that would mean layoffs at the Gainesville bank.

Chattahoochee Bank of Georgia opened in 2008 catering to commercial clients in Gainesville, but with its sale to Entegra, the bank will begin offering consumer products — residential mortgage and investments, according to the announcement.

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