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Newton Federal-Affinity merger complete
Greg Proffitt. - photo by Submitted Photo

COVINGTON, Ga. — Community First Bancshares Inc. announced this week it has completed its acquisition of Atlanta-based ABB Financial Group.

The deal combined Covington-based Newton Federal Bank with Affinity Bank and makes one of the 10 largest Georgia-based banks, by deposits, to have headquarters in metro Atlanta.

The combined bank has about $645 million in total assets. The bank and holding company headquarters will remain in Covington.

“The management teams and employees of Newton Federal Bank and Affinity Bank have worked tirelessly over the last several months to prepare for the integration of our companies,” CFBI Chairman Billy Fortson said. “We believe that this transaction will help deliver value through increased operating scale and a presence in highly desirable markets.”

The combined bank now operates full-service offices in Covington and Atlanta, loan production offices in Athens and Braselton and a loan production office serving the Alpharetta and Cumming markets.

“The combined strength of our institutions will allow us to better serve customers across all of our markets with a wide range of financial products and services, while maintaining the personal service they expect from their community bank,” Fortson said.

The companies announced their intentions to merge in August. The all-cash deal was worth about $40.3 million.

Greg Proffitt, executive vice president and chief operations officer of the president of the bank, confirmed job losses will result from the merger. He declined to say how many.

“Consistent with most merger transactions, staffing needs are being assessed and there will be some level of staffing reductions,” he told The Covington News. “However, I can’t discuss internal information or provide any further specifics regarding this matter.”

ABB’s common shareholders received cash merger consideration of $7.50 for each share of ABB. Preferred stock is being redeemed and ABB trust preferred securities are being acquired by CFBI and canceled.

Edward J. Cooney, the former president and CEO of ABB and Affinity Bank, has become the CEO of Community First and Newton Federal, and a director of both entities.

Johnny Smith, longtime CEO of Newton Federal, resigned that position upon completion of the merger. He will remain as president of Community First and the bank for 60 days, then resign as president and a director.

The board of the company and bank has appointed Proffitt to serve as president upon Smith’s retirement. Proffitt is a Georgia native and longtime resident of Covington.

Newton Federal Bank opened in 1928.