Ameris Bancorp Signs Definitive Merger Agreement to Acquire Jacksonville Bancorp, Inc.

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Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Ameris Bancorp, the parent company of Ameris Bank, announced today the signing of a definitive merger agreement under which Ameris will acquire Jacksonville Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of The Jacksonville Bank, Jacksonville, Florida.  Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company will have approximately $5.7 billion in assets, $4.0 billion in loans, $4.9 billion in deposits and a branch network of 101 banking locations across four states, inclusive of Ameris's recently announced branch consolidation.

"We are pleased to announce our merger with Jacksonville Bancorp, as it will accelerate our growth momentum in the greater Jacksonville, Florida market.  We believe that this transaction will allow us to better serve our combined customer base, provide greater access to the variety of banking services we offer and help us build a stronger presence to positively impact our community," commented Edwin W. Hortman, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer of Ameris.

The acquisition further expands Ameris's existing Southeastern footprint in the attractive Jacksonville, Florida market.  Jacksonville Bancorp currently operates eight banking locations, all of which are located within the Jacksonville MSA, as well as one cyber banking site.  After the acquisition, Ameris will become the largest community bank by deposit market share in the Jacksonville, Florida market.

Kendall L. Spencer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Jacksonville Bancorp, said, "We are excited to announce our merger with Ameris.  We admire the strong commitment Ameris shows to customers and communities they serve, and we look forward to offering that experience to our customers."

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Jacksonville Bancorp shareholders will receive either 0.5861 shares of Ameris common stock or $16.50 in cash for each share of Jacksonville Bancorp common stock or nonvoting common stock, subject to the total consideration being 75% stock and 25% cash.  The transaction is valued at approximately $96.6 million in the aggregate based on Ameris's closing stock price of $28.47 as of September 29, 2015.

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the board of directors of each company.  The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016 and is subject to customary closing conditions, regulatory approvals and approval by Jacksonville Bancorp shareholders.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc. served as financial advisor and Rogers & Hardin LLP provided legal counsel to Ameris. Hovde Group, LLC served as financial advisor and Smith MacKinnon, PA provided legal counsel to Jacksonville Bancorp.