April 11, 2022
Merged Association aims to combine resources to better serve North Carolina agricultural production and rural residents
Fayetteville, N.C. and Raleigh, N.C. (April 11, 2022) – AgCarolina Farm Credit and Cape Fear Farm Credit jointly announced today their intention to pursue a merger of equals. Under the terms of the Letter of Intent (LOI), which was unanimously approved by the Boards of Directors of both Associations, the combined entity would form the largest ag lending cooperative in North Carolina. Based on the two Associations’ current portfolios, the merged entity would begin with over $3 billion in gross loan volume serving more than 6,000 borrowing relationships.
The two Associations would operate as AgCarolina Farm Credit, ACA – a name that the boards agreed best reflects the mission of the potential merged Association: to serve North Carolina agricultural production and rural residents. The combined company would have a presence in 46 contiguous counties in eastern North Carolina and headquarters would be centrally located in Greenville.
“For years, both AgCarolina and Cape Fear have worked side-by-side as industry peers, building successful, financially strong Associations who have established strong capabilities in a range of areas critical to the agricultural sector,” said Derek Potter, AgCarolina Farm Credit Board Chairman. “We also share in a desire to grow and bring more value to our members.”
Nash Johnson, Cape Fear Farm Credit Board Chairman, added “We are excited to continue our exploration of the possible benefits of this merger to our stockholders, employees, and the agricultural and rural communities of eastern North Carolina. This merger could position the new entity to be big enough to continue to meet the evolving and diverse needs of our members, while remaining small enough to maintain our local focus.”
If approved, the combined Association would be led by current Cape Fear Farm Credit President and CEO Evan Kleinhans, who has more than 10 years of Farm Credit leadership experience. AgCarolina President and CEO Dave Corum, who previously announced his plans to retire after more than 40 years of service in Farm Credit, would stay on until the merger is complete to support the organizations in the transition plan.
No branch office closures or branch staffing changes are anticipated as part of the merger, so members would receive the same local, personalized service from the same trusted experts with local loan decisions and delivery of financial services.
Once due diligence is complete, the respective Boards will vote whether to approve a definitive merger agreement and seek to obtain regulatory approval. If regulatory approval is obtained, stockholders would receive a merger disclosure package in late 2022 with a complete description of the merger terms and the Board’s reasons for recommending stockholder approval. A stockholder vote would occur afterwards, and, if approved, the merger would become effective on Jan. 1, 2023.
Summary: The Boards of Directors for AgCarolina Farm Credit and Cape Fear Farm Credit have unanimously agreed to a letter of intent to merge – a transaction that could better serve North Carolina agricultural production and rural residents. Together, the two Associations would operate as AgCarolina Farm Credit, ACA, under the leadership of current Cape Fear Farm Credit President and CEO Evan Kleinhans. The combined company would have a presence in 46 eastern North Carolina counties with headquarters centrally located in Greenville. No branch closures or branch staffing changes are anticipated, so members would receive the same local, personalized service from the same trusted experts they work with today.
AgCarolina Farm Credit
AgCarolina Farm Credit is a farmer owned financial cooperative with headquarters in Raleigh. They are the leading provider of credit to farmers in central and eastern North Carolina. Loans are made to finance land, homes, farm buildings, operating expenses, livestock, and equipment, as well as other purposes. Credit life insurance, appraisal services, and leasing are also available through AgCarolina Farm Credit. Branch locations are in Ahoskie, Elizabeth City, Greenville, Halifax, La Grange, Louisburg, New Bern, Raleigh, Rocky Mount, Smithfield, Swan Quarter, and Williamston.
Cape Fear Farm Credit
Cape Fear Farm Credit is an agricultural lending cooperative owned by its member-borrowers. It provides loans for land, equipment, livestock, and production as well as rural home mortgages and rural living. Cape Fear Farm Credit has branches serving Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, New Hanover, Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Scotland counties. It is part of the national Farm Credit System, a network of financial cooperatives established in 1916 to provide a dependable source of credit to farmers and rural America.