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Ameris to repurchase $24M of TARP preferred stock

Staff Report
Published Dec. 3, 2012

Ameris Bancorp, which has nine branches in South Carolina, has received approval to repurchase up to $24 million worth of preferred stock that it sold to the U.S. Treasury Department under the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP.

By repurchasing the preferred stock, Ameris will be able to reduce the dividends payable “thereby positively impacting the company's 2013 results,” the Moultrie, Ga.-based company said in a press release.

Ameris added it expects to repurchase the remaining balance of the original $52 million TARP preferred stock investment through February 2014, subject to regulatory approval.

The preferred stock was sold by the Treasury to other investors in June through a registered public offering as part of the agency's efforts to wind down its remaining TARP bank investments.

"We are pleased to start the process of retiring the TARP preferred stock. This additional capital gave us flexibility during a tough economic cycle and has allowed us to execute offensive strategies and continue growing,” said Edwin W. Hortman Jr., president and CEO. “Our plans remain intact to retire all of the preferred shares before the stock's dividend rate increases, without issuing additional common shares."

Ameris has 66 offices in Georgia, Alabama, northern Florida and South Carolina.