• Atlanta's SunTrust Bank to merge with BB&T, shift HQ to Charlotte

    By: Aaron Diamant

    Updated:

    ATLANTA - Southern regional banks BB&T and SunTrust are combining in an all-stock deal valued at about $66 billion.

    The banks said Thursday that the combined company will be the sixth-largest U.S. bank based on assets and deposits.

    The combined company will be based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with its board and management evenly split between BB&T Corp. and SunTrust Banks Inc. SunTrust's headquarters is currently located in Atlanta.

    A new name will be chosen before the deal closes in the fourth quarter.

    SunTrust has many buildings in Atlanta, including SunTrust Park in Cobb County and SunTrust Plaza in downtown Atlanta.

    We asked Wes Moss with Capital Investment Advisors, what that might mean for SunTrust's massive metro Atlanta workforce.

    “Are there going to be some branch closures? Probably. But that, I believe, is industrywide. No matter what, you’re going to see (that) even if we don’t go through mergers," he said. “I think it’s still to be determined how that looks, but the reality here is that they want to do combine forces and do more business, do more loans, so it may not be that bad for employees.”

    Consumer adviser Clark Howard said the merger won't have any impact on constumers.

    “Zero impact. There will be none at all for consumers until the merger is completed," he said.


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    The new bank will be the nation’s sixth largest.

    “The big regional banks like SunTrust didn’t have enough resources, didn’t have enough expertise to deal with what millennials want," Howard said.

    The upside for Atlanta is this will be a big pay day for many local SunTrust stockholders.

    The big downside? Nearly a quarter of the merged banks branches sit less than 2 miles apart.

    “For employees, this is a bad day, because a lot of employees are going to face layoffs," Howard said.

    Howard said no matter what the bank bosses say, "This about these banks getting enough strength so they don’t fall behind the big guys.”

    The new bank will have approximately $442 billion in assets, $301 billion in loans and $324 billion in deposits serving more than 10 million households.

    SunTrust shareholders will receive 1.295 shares of BB&T for each share they own. BB&T shareholders will own about 57 percent and SunTrust shareholders will own about 43 percent of the business.

    "This is a true merger of equals, combining the best of both companies to create the premier financial institution of the future," said BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kelly S. King. "It's an extraordinarily attractive financial proposition that provides the scale needed to compete and win in the rapidly evolving world of financial services. Together with Bill's leadership and our new SunTrust teammates, we're going to bring the best of both companies forward to serve our clients and communities."

    William H. Rogers Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of SunTrust, said, "By bringing together these two mission- and purpose-driven institutions, we will accelerate our capacity to invest in transformational technologies for our clients. 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. With our geographic position, enhanced scale and leading financial profile, these two companies will achieve substantially more for clients, teammates, associates, communities and shareholders than we could alone. I have tremendous respect for Kelly, his leadership team and the BB&T associates. We will leverage our respective strengths as we focus together on the future."

    The bank was established in 1891 in Atlanta, originally named Commercial Travelers' Savings Bank. It later changed its name to SunTrust.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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