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Southern States Bancshares, Inc. to Acquire East Alabama Financial Group, Inc.

May 8, 2019

ANNISTON, Ala.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 8, 2019--Southern States Bancshares, Inc. (“Southern States” or the “Company”), parent of Southern States Bank (the “Bank”), today announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement with East Alabama Financial Group, Inc. (“East Alabama”), parent of Small Town Bank, under which Southern States will acquire East Alabama. East Alabama shareholders will receive a mix of Southern States stock and cash as consideration. The transaction has been approved by the board of directors of each company, is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019, and is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval from the shareholders of East Alabama and Southern States and approval of bank regulatory authorities. The combined company will operate under the Southern States brand and have assets in excess of $1.2 billion.

In making the announcement, Southern State’s President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chairman of the Board, Steve Whatley said, “After spending time with Mr. Floyd Davis and the broader Small Town Bank organization, I am confident this merger will allow us to better serve our clients and their communities. The common set of principles and commitment to excellence both companies share create a powerful foundation to build a stronger institution together. Further, Small Town Bank’s strong core deposit funding and disciplined credit culture support our strategic direction.”

Floyd Davis, Sr., Chairman of the Board of East Alabama, commented, “We are thrilled to partner with an organization like Southern States that shares our values and places customers’ interest first and foremost. Southern States has demonstrated its strong ability to grow and we look forward to expanding and improving our customers’ experience through this merger.”

Southern States was advised by SunTrust Robinson Humphrey as financial advisor and Jones Walker LLP is serving as legal counsel. East Alabama was advised by FIG Partners as financial advisor and Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C. is serving as legal counsel.

About Southern States Bancshares

Southern States Bank, the subsidiary bank of Southern States Bancshares, is a full service, $927 million asset community bank headquartered in Anniston, AL, offering competitive banking products and services with a commitment to customer service and community knowledge. The Bank’s primary service areas in Alabama are Calhoun, Lee, Jefferson, Talladega and Madison counties and their surrounding areas plus Muscogee, Carroll and Coweta counties in Georgia. The Bank has LPO offices in Bremen, Georgia and Atlanta, Georgia.

About East Alabama Financial Group

Small Town Bank, the subsidiary bank of East Alabama Financial Group, Inc., is a $241 million asset community bank headquartered in Wedowee, AL engaged in personal and business banking. The Bank’s primary service areas in Alabama are Randolph and Cleburne counties and Carroll and Paulding counties in Georgia.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements contained herein may not be based upon historical facts and are “forward-looking statements.” These forward-looking statements may be identified by their reference to a future period or periods or by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “anticipate,” “believe,” “could,” “continue,” “seek,” “intend,” “estimate,” “expect,” “foresee,” “hope,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “should,” “predict,” “project,” “goal,” “outlook,” “potential,” “will,” “will result,” “will likely result,” or “would” or future or conditional verb tenses and variations or negatives of such terms. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, those relating to the terms, timing and closing of the proposed merger, acceptance by customers of Southern States Bank’s products and services, the opportunities for Southern States Bank to enhance market share in certain markets and market acceptance of Southern States Bank generally in new markets.

Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this new release, in that actual results could differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements as a result of a variety of factors, many of which are beyond the control of Southern States Bank. These factors may include, but are not limited to, the ability of Southern States Bank and Small Town Bank to complete the merger transaction, the ability to satisfy the conditions to the completion of the merger transaction, including the approval of the merger transaction by shareholders and the receipt of all regulatory approvals required for the merger transaction on the terms expected in the merger agreement, the ability to meet expectations regarding the timing, completion and accounting and tax treatments of the merger transaction, the possibility that any of the anticipated benefits of the merger transaction will not be realized or will not be realized as expected, the failure of the merger transaction to close for any other reason, the possibility that the merger transaction may be more expensive or more time consuming to complete than anticipated, including as a result of unexpected factors or events and the impact of all other factors generally understood to affect the assets, business, cash flows, financial condition, liquidity, prospects and/or results of operations of financial services companies. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this news release and, except as required by law, neither party undertakes any obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that occur after the date of this news release.

View source version on businesswire.com:https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190508005671/en/

CONTACT: Southern States Bancshares, Inc.

Lynn Joyce

SEVP and CFO

205-820-8065

ljoyce@ssbank.bank

KEYWORD: UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA ALABAMA

INDUSTRY KEYWORD: PROFESSIONAL SERVICES BANKING FINANCE

SOURCE: Southern States Bancshares, Inc.

Copyright Business Wire 2019.

PUB: 05/08/2019 12:44 PM/DISC: 05/08/2019 12:44 PM

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20190508005671/en