SunTrust Banks, Inc. and BB&T Corporation announced that 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, GA. This continued strong presence is also supported by the combined company’s commitment to increase the respective banks’ current levels of community investment.
GAAP and Cash EPS accretion per BB&T share in 2021 is expected to be approximately 13% and 17%, respectively (based on Street estimates). GAAP and Cash EPS accretion per SunTrust share in 2021 is expected to be approximately 9% and 16%, respectively (based on Street estimates). SunTrust shareholders will receive a 5% increase in their dividend upon consummation of the transaction based upon each Company’s current dividend per share. Under the terms of the merger agreement, SunTrust shareholders will receive 1.295 shares of BB&T for each SunTrust share they own. BB&T shareholders will own approximately 57% and SunTrust shareholders will own approximately 43% of the combined company.
“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.”
Strategic and Financial Benefits of the Proposed Merger
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. The expected benefits of the transaction include a pro forma efficiency ratio of 51%, peer best ROATCE of 22% and projected tangible book value per share accretion at close for BB&T shareholders of approximately 11%, or 6% fully accounting for one-time merger charges. The merger is expected to generate an internal rate of return of approximately 18%.
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.
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.
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.
BB&T is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $225.7 billion in assets and market capitalization of approximately $33.1 billion as of December 31, 2018. Building on a long tradition of excellence in community banking, BB&T offers a wide range of financial services including retail and commercial banking, investments, insurance, wealth management, asset management, mortgage, corporate banking, capital markets and specialized lending. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., BB&T operates more than 1,800 financial centers in 15 states and Washington, D.C. and is consistently recognized for outstanding client service by Greenwich Associates for small business and middle market banking. More information about BB&T and its full line of products and services is available at www.BBT.com.
SunTrust Banks, Inc. is a purpose-driven company dedicated to Lighting the Way to Financial Well-Being for the people, businesses, and communities it serves. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Headquartered in Atlanta, the Company has two business segments: Consumer and Wholesale. Its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate, and institutional clients nationally. As of December 31, 2018, SunTrust had total assets of $216 billion and total deposits of $163 billion. The Company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. Learn more at www.suntrust.com