Tuesday, March 13, 2012

BB&T renews bid to buy BankAtlantic

BB&T has upped the price of its acquisition of Florida-based BankAtlantic to get past the objections of a judge.

The Winston-Salem bank will still take on $2.1 billion in loans and $3.3 billion in deposits, and it will still pay a roughly $300 million premium. Distressed assets will still largely stay with BankAtlantic.

But BB&T will now take on a class of securities that it had originally hoped to leave behind at BankAtlantic.

"The improving economy in Southeast Florida makes this acquisition even more compelling," BB&T CEO Kelly King said in a statement. "We believe this amendment to our original agreement fully addresses litigation obstacles and allows the transaction to move forward."

A Delaware judge blocked the purchase last month, objecting to the structure because BB&T would not take on about $285 million in trust preferred securities, a form of long-term subordinated debt. The judge said any acquisition would have to include that class of securities.

BB&T will now acquire those securities. In exchange, the bank will get 95 percent preferred interest in a $500 million pool of loans that was originally to stay with BankAtlantic. Half of the loans are performing, and BB&T expects to recover $350 million from them.

If approved, the acquisition will bump BB&T up to No. 6 in the Miami market. The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.