ABILENE, Texas -

Abilene-based First Financial Bank announced plans this week to grow into southeast Texas.

First Financial has entered into an agreement to buy Orange Savings Bank for about $56 million.

That would grow First Financial, and give them a foothold in Orange, Port Arthur, and three other cities east of Houston.

The purchase still needs government regulatory approval, along with approval from stockholders.

Company officials hope to finalize the agreement by late spring or early summer.