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What a merger between BB&T and SunTrust means for Tampa-St. Pete

Margie Manning



SunTrust at 3601 34th St. N. in St. Petersburg

There soon will be a new No. 2 bank, with a new name, in the Tampa-St. Pete-Clearwater metro area.

Two of the largest banks in the metro area are combining in what is being called a merger of equals that will create the sixth-largest U.S. bank holding company.

The all-stock merger between BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT) and SunTrust Banks (NYSE: STI) is valued at $66 billion, a news release said.

SunTrust, based in Atlanta, is the third largest retail bank in the metro area, with 75 offices, $9.9 billion in deposits and an 11.63 percent deposit market share as of June 30, the most recent date for which information is available from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T had 42 offices, $2.6 billion in deposits and a 3.06 percent deposit market share, ranking it No. 7 among retail banks in the area.

Combined, the two banks would be No. 2 among retail banks in the metro area, behind Bank of America (NYSE: BAC).

A separate investor presentation by the banks said they expected cost savings as a result of the deal, including from facilities and from retail banking. Across the combined footprint there are about 740 branches within two miles of each other, but no specific branch closings were announced.

The combined bank will have $442 billion in assets. It will operate under a new name and be headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.,  while maintaining significant operations in Atlanta and Winston-Salem, the news release said.

The combination gives the scale and financial flexibility to be an industry leader in the evolving landscape of banking, a report from Raymond James & Associates in St. Petersburg said. The combined company is expected to be the industry leader among its peers in terms of pro forma efficiency and profitability, the Raymond James report said.

Kelly King, chairman and CEO of BB&T, will be chairman and CEO of the combined company until September 2021, then serve six months as executive chairman.

William Rogers Jr., chairman and CEO of SunTrust, will be president and chief operating officer of the combined company until September 2021, then take over as CEO. The board of directors will be made up of directors from both banks, equally split.

The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, pending regulatory and shareholder approval.

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