First Citizens Bank Launches Hostile Takeover Of KS Bank

First Citizens Bank has launched a hostile takeover bid for KS Bank, based in Smithfield.

KS Bank has 9 branches in the area.

According to the News & Observer, First Citizens, which is headquartered in Raleigh, has announced an offer of $35 per share in cash – or $45.8 million – to acquire KS Bancorp the parent company of KS Bank.

First Citizens had previously offered $33 per share but the deal was rejected by the KS Bank Board of Directors. That deal was not made public. First Citizens has made their second offer public.

“In light of your rejection of our proposal, and as a clear sign of our seriousness to effect a transaction, we are increasing our proposal to acquire KS Bancorp to a price of $35 per share in cash,” Craig Nix, First Citizen’s chief financial officer, wrote in a letter to KS’s board, according to the N&O report.

KS Bank had $368 million in assets at the end of the first quarter of 2017. First Citizens is much larger with $34 billion in assets with more than 500 branches in 22 states.

First Citizen’s offer is nearly 50 percent higher than KS Bancorp’s closing price per share last week and 84 percent more than the book value of the bank.

KS Bank has branches in Smithfield, Selma, Clayton, Four Oaks, Kenly, Garner, Wendell, Wilson and Goldsboro.