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Posted July 15, 2009 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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First Bank to buy branch

StellarOne bank branch
Strasburg-based First Bank has signed an agreement to acquire the StellarOne bank branch at 300 W. Reservoir Road in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

StellarOne agrees to exit Woodstock

By James Heffernan -- jheffernan@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- First Bank will acquire the StellarOne bank branch at 300 W. Reservoir Road under an agreement announced Monday.

The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval and other conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

The sale includes deposit accounts, fixed assets and real estate. As of June 30, the branch reported deposits of $15.2 million.

"We are excited about the opportunity to further expand our franchise in Shenandoah County and bring these customers into the First Bank family," Harry S. Smith, president and CEO of the bank's parent company, First National Corp., said in a statement. "This acquisition will increase our deposit market share in Woodstock while strengthening our lead position in Shenandoah County."

The financial center was part of an eight-branch cluster that Charlottesville-based StellarOne Corp. purchased from the former First Virginia Bank in 2003.

"While certainly a successful and profitable financial center, the Woodstock location did not fit well with our existing franchise or long-term strategies," StellarOne Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey W. Farrar said in a statement.

StellarOne currently operates 59 full-service financial centers in the New River Valley, Roanoke Valley, Shenandoah Valley, and central and north central Virginia.

While the acquisition will slightly dilute First Bank's earnings next year, it is in line with the company's strategic plan that includes profitable growth, Smith said.

First Bank will evaluate the effectiveness of its new branch and two existing offices in meeting customer needs, the company said.

Strasburg-based First Bank, with 11 branch offices in the Northern Shenandoah Valley and a combined $548 million in assets, was No. 29 on U.S. Banker magazine's recently published "Top 200 Community Banks" list.

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