Changes are coming to Floyd County’s oldest bank.

First Prestonsburg Bancshares Inc., the parent company of First Commonwealth Bank, and Peoples Bancorp Inc., the parent company of Peoples Bank, issued a press release Tuesday evening announcing the signing of a “definitive agreement and plan of merger.” 

The transaction totals approximately $45.4 million, the press release said.

First Commonwealth, which opened under a different name in Prestonsburg more than 114 years ago, is the county’s oldest-serving bank, and this announcement comes as the bank plans to open another branch in Georgetown this year. It also comes less than a year after First Commonwealth merged with First Guaranty Bank in Martin. 

According to the press release, First Commonwealth has about $310 million in assets, including $139 million in loans and $244 million in deposits. That’s about $10 million more in total assets reported when that bank merged with First Guaranty in February. 

On its website, Peoples Bancorp describes itself as a “diversified financial services holding company” with more than $4 billion in assets. It has 71 bank branches and 78 ATMs in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky. The company has been in business about as long as First Commonwealth, with its first branch opening 115 years ago, the website says. 

In the press release, leaders of both banks voiced excitement about the merger.

Chuck Sulerzski, president/CEO of Peoples said, “We are excited to expand our presence in eastern Kentucky through the acquisition of First Prestonsburg, a high quality institution with an extremely strong core deposit base. We believe it will complement our insurance operation in Pikeville and provide us with an opportunity to leverage existing client relationships. We look forward to providing our full suite of financial products and services to the region.” 

He reported that Greg Wilson, the president of First Commonwealth, will remain with Peoples Bank as its Kentucky Market President.

“We look forward to welcoming First Prestonsburg shareholders and First Commonwealth’s employees and customers to become part of our team,” Sulerzyski said in the statement.

Wilson’s statement said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to join forces with the Peoples Bank team. Peoples will provide us the ability to deliver new products and services, including insurance and investment products, to our valued customers in the communities we serve. The alliance with Peoples will also give the opportunity to expand in our current market and geographically in Kentucky. Peoples’ community banking model and culture and commitment to high quality customer services makes them a great fit for us.” 

According to the statement, First Commonwealth shareholders will receive 12.512 shares of Peoples common stock for each share of First Prestonsburg stock they own. After the merger is closed, First Prestonsburg will pay a “special aggregate cash distribution” of nearly $11.3 million to shareholders.

The acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter of 2019, the press release said. It’s subject to approval of the First Prestonsburg shareholders, regulatory approval and other conditions set forth in the merger agreement. 

Peoples Bancorp reported the plan to merge with First Commonwealth to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, saying in that filing that additional information will be also be filed with the SEC.

The filings are open to the public online by searching “Peoples Bancorp” at, sec.gov

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