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Heritage Financial completes purchase of five PAB branches

ALBANY, Ga. -- Officials with Heritage Financial Group, the mid-tier holding company for HeritageBank of the South, announced this morning that the company has completed its purchase of five Park Avenue Bank branches in Georgia from PAB Bankshares.

Heritage Financial has named Gary Johnson regional president for the southeastern area in which the branches are located -- two in Statesboro and one each in Baxley, Hazelhurst and Adel.

Bank officials said the transaction resulted in the transfer of about $52 million in loans and approximately $97 million in deposits to HeritageBank of the South.

"We are pleased to announce the successful completion of this acquisition, which continues our efforts to deploy our strong capital base to expand prudently and enhance future growth prospects, while helping build our presence in Southeast Georgia and fill in our footprint between Albany and Ocala," Leonard Dorminey, President and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Financial Group, said. "This step, together with two other transactions completed in recent months, has enabled us to nearly double our branch network in just the past year."

Johnson, who has been in banking 25 years and who is a longtime resident of Statesboro, previously was the chief credit officer for Sea Island Bank in Statesboro. "We are excited to have such a talented banker and proven leader join our team," Dorminey said. "We are committed to the southeastern Georgia market and under Gary's leadership, we will be one of the strongest competitor's in the region."

Heritage Financial Group, (HBOS on NASDAQ) is the mid-tier holding company for HeritageBank of the South, which has 15 full-service banking offices, primarily in south Georgia and north-central Florida. As of March 31, the company reported total assets of approximately $574 million, total stockholders' equity of approximately $62 million and a Total Risk-Based capital ratio of 16.6 percent.