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SunTrust, BB&T to Merge in $66B Deal, Create Sixth-Largest U.S. Bank

February 07, 2019, 07:30 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

SunTrust Banks, Inc. and BB&T Corporation announced both companies' boards of directors have unanimously approved a definitive agreement to combine in an all-stock merger of equals valued at approximately $66 billion. The combined company will be the sixth-largest U.S. bank based on assets and deposits.

The pro forma 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 United States, with leading market share in many of the most attractive, high-growth markets in the country. The incremental scale positions the new company to achieve industry-leading financial and operating metrics with the strongest return profile among its peers.

In a reflection of the equal contribution both banks bring to the new institution, the combined company will operate under a new name and brand, which will be determined prior to closing. The combined company's board of directors and executive management team will be evenly split between the two institutions. A new corporate headquarters will be established in Charlotte, NC, including an Innovation and Technology Center to drive digital transformation. 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.

"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 CEO 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."

Strategic and Financial Benefits of the Proposed Merger

Revenue Growth Through Complementary Businesses: The combined company will leverage its complementary businesses to generate additional revenue opportunities through BB&T's Community Banking and insurance operation and SunTrust's leading middle market corporate & investment banking business and digital consumer lending platform.

Strong Cultural Alignment: The combined company will preserve and maintain the strong cultures of both BB&T and SunTrust to deliver superior client service and preserve the community bank model to maintain close ties to shared local communities. With its stronger position, it will also deliver a collective set of training, leadership, and development programs to attract and retain the industry's top talent across its expanded career opportunities.

Leading Financial Profile and Operating Metrics: The combined company will be well positioned to achieve industry-leading financial and operating metrics with the strongest return profile amongst its peers.

Increased Profitability and Scale to Drive New Innovations: The combined company will take advantage of its enhanced scale to focus on selecting best of breed systems and processes and making significant investments in technology to create a sustainable competitive advantage in an increasingly digital-first world.

Significant cost synergies: Expected to deliver approximately $1.6 billion in annual net cost synergies by 2022. The primary sources of cost savings are expected to be in facilities, information technology/systems, shared services, retail banking and third-party vendors.

New Company Leadership Team, Succession Plan and Governance

King, Chairman and CEO of BB&T and its bank subsidiary, will serve as Chairman and CEO of the combined company and its bank subsidiary until Sept. 12, 2021, after which time he will serve as Executive Chairman of both entities until March 12, 2022. King will continue to serve on the Board of Directors of the combined company until the end of 2023.

William H. Rogers, Jr., Chairman and CEO of SunTrust will serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of the combined company and its bank subsidiary until Sept. 12, 2021, at which time he will become CEO of the combined company and its bank subsidiary. He will also hold a seat on the combined company's Board of Directors. On March 12, 2022, Rogers will also become Chairman and CEO of the combined company and its bank subsidiary.

Upon the closing of the transaction, the Board of Directors of the combined company will consist of members equally split between BB&T and SunTrust's current Directors. David M. Ratcliffe, current Lead Director of SunTrust, will serve as Lead Director of the combined company until March 12, 2022 after which the Lead Director will be a legacy BB&T Director.

The combined company's executive management team will be comprised equally from SunTrust and BB&T. They include Chris Henson, Clarke Starnes (Chief Risk Officer), Daryl Bible (Chief Financial Officer), Allison Dukes, Brant Standridge, David Weaver, Dontá Wilson, Ellen Fitzsimmons, Ellen Koebler, Hugh (Beau) Cummins, Joseph Thompson and Scott Case.

Timing and Approvals

The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of customary regulatory approvals and approval by the shareholders of each company.


RBC Capital Markets served as financial advisor and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz served as legal counsel to BB&T in this transaction. Goldman Sachs and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey served as financial advisors and Sullivan & Cromwell served as legal counsel to SunTrust in this transaction.

For more information on the planned merger, see the full release here.

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