Carolina First -- the largest bank based in South Carolina -- could soon become TD Bank in an acquisition announced this morning.
The Canadian banking giant has agreed to purchase Carolina First's Greenville-based parent company, The South Financial Group and all of its subsidiaries.
Carolina First has been troubled by bad loans, especially in its Florida markets. The bank, coming off nine consecutive quarters of losses totaling more than $1.3 billion, was told by federal regulators this month to bolster its balance sheet.
South Financial shareholders will receive either 28 cents in cash or .004 shares of TD common stock for each South Financial share. That totals $61 million based on TD's closing share price of $70.89 on Friday.
Before the merger is finished, TD will buy the $347 million in preferred stock belonging to the U.S. Treasury Department that was part of a federal bailout loan. TD also will pay the government $130.6 million in unpaid dividends from the stock.