BB&T, SunTrust merger to make nation’s sixth largest bank

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A second bank merger is going to affect banking locations in Coweta County.

Its footprint will cover the East Coast, with new corporate headquarters to be situated in Charlotte, North Carolina.

SunTrust shareholders will receive 1.295 shares of BB&T for each SunTrust share they own.

While it may be tempting to explain the deal by pointing to the partial rollback of the postcrisis Dodd-Frank financial reform law that signed was into law last spring by President Donald Trump, the bulk of that law's measures were targeted at banks far smaller than the one that will be created by this deal, if it is approved by regulators.

The BB&T-SunTrust announcement comes as a merger is already underway for Fidelity Bank and Ameris Bank. The new bank, which would have its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., will be the sixth-largest in the US based on assets and deposits.

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Since that time, the gap between the size of the big Wall Street banks and the regional banks like BB&T, SunTrust, PNC Bank, Fifth-Third and others has only widened. BB&T shareholders will own about 57% of the combined company. In the current home markets for both companies, the combined company will maintain the Community Banking Center in Winston-Salem, NC and the Wholesale Banking Center in Atlanta, GA. They said they'll now have top-3 market share in eight states.

The 100,000-square-foot building slated for the intersection of J.K. Powell Blvd. and Columbus Street will house the 500 BB&T employees who now work in nine locations in the Whiteville area, including its Client Care Center on US 701 North.

A more permissive regulatory environment culminated Thursday in the biggest bank merger since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, and more deals are likely, analysts and investors said. The companies will operate banks from Pennsylvania to Florida, and as far west as Texas.

The company changed its name in 1913 to Branch Banking and Trust Company, or BB&T.

"It's an extraordinarily attractive financial proposition that provides the scale needed to compete and win in the rapidly evolving world of financial services", BB&T CEO Kelly King said in a statement. It also has two branches in Plant City and one in Poinciana.

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Analysts largely expect regulators to approve the deal, although it will likely draw scrutiny from vocal bank critics like USA senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. After that, he will serve as executive chairman for six months.

William H. Rogers Jr., chairman and CEO of SunTrust will serve as president and chief operating officer of the combined company, and Kelly S. King, chairman and CEO of BB&T, will serve as chairman and CEO.

Rogers will become CEO on September 12, 2021 when King is set to become Executive Chairman. The new company's board will be evenly split between the banks' current boards of directors.

Shares of Atlanta-based SunTrust jumped 8.3 percent to $63.62, above the acquisition price, while BB&T rose 2.4 percent to $49.71.

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