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SunTrust, BB&T to merge

Banking & Finance
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Regional banks SunTrust Banks Inc. and BB&T Corp. are planning to combine in an all-stock merger valued at approximately $66 billion.

The combined company, which will have a new name, will be the sixth-largest U.S. bank by assets and deposits, behind JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank and US Bank. The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals.

“This is a true merger of equals, combining the best of both companies to create the premier financial institution of the future,” BB&T Chairman and CEO Kelly King said in a news release. “It’s an extraordinarily attractive financial proposition that provides the scale needed to compete and win in the rapidly evolving world of financial services.”

The company will have approximately $442 billion in assets, $301 billion in loans and $324 billion in deposits, serving more than 10 million households in the U.S. BB&T shareholders will own approximately 57% of the new company and SunTrust shareholders will own about 43%.

“By bringing together these two mission- and purpose-driven institutions, we will accelerate our capacity to invest in transformational technologies for our clients,” SunTrust Chairman and CEO William Rogers Jr. said in the release. “Our shared culture embraces the disruption of technology, and we will take this innovative mindset to expand our leadership in the next chapter of these historic brands.”

A new corporate headquarters will be established in Charlotte, including an innovation and technology center to help drive digital transformation. The company will maintain BB&T’s Community Banking Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., and SunTrust’s Wholesale Banking Center in Atlanta.

“Individually, SunTrust and BB&T, they’re just incredibly strong institutions,” Rogers said. “But together, we’re going to be even better.”

King will serve as chairman and CEO of the combined company for its first two years, after which Rogers will take over as CEO. Rogers will serve as the president and COO in the meantime.

The board of directors and executive management team will be evenly split between BB&T and SunTrust. David Ratcliffe, current lead director of SunTrust, will serve as lead director of the combined company until March 2022, after which the lead director will be a legacy BB&T director.

King said leadership teams from BB&T and SunTrust are already making decisions together and that he feels good about the transition of the two companies.

“It really is an even combination,” King said. “The great thing about it, though, is that two plus two becomes five, so it’s really exciting.”

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