HATTIESBURG, Miss. — A Mississippi bank says it has sold $55 million in stock as part of a plan to buy a bank in southwest Alabama.

The First Bancshares Inc. of Hattiesburg announced Tuesday that it has sold 2 million shares.

The company plans to use $24 million of the proceeds to buy Southwest Banc Shares Inc. of Chatom, Alabama. The First also plans to issue $36 million more in stock as part of the $60 million deal.

The Mississippi bank also operates in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida. Southwest operates as First Community Bank in Alabama’s Washington, Mobile and Baldwin counties.

The First will use remaining cash for other purposes, including possibly more acquisitions. This is the seventh acquisition for the First since 2011, and would push it over $2 billion in assets.

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