Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BB&T expands in South Florida

BB&T is growing.

The Winston-Salem-based bank announced Tuesday that it is acquiring BankAtlantic, a Ft. Lauderdale-based bank, for $301 million.

BB&T will take on 78 branches, $2.1 billion in loans and $3.3 billion in deposits, according to a news release.

The move marks a strategic expansion for a bank that continues to get larger, though executives are hesitant to say they're in expansion mode.

"We've been growing throughout the whole downturn," Chief Financial Officer Daryl Bible said.

He called the BankAtlantic acquisition a strategic move in a region where the bank had only a 14th-largest market share. BB&T will now have the sixth largest market share in the Miami market.

"We're really still focused on growing organically," Bible said. "We look at anything within our footprint or contiguous marketplace."

As of June 30, BB&T was the 18th largest bank by assets in the United States, with $159 billion. It has since grown to $168 billion in assets. It has the third-largest market share in the Charlotte area.

BankAtlantic has struggled through the economic downturn. Though it made a $23.4 million profit in the second quarter, it lost money in the 15 quarters before that. In mid-October, BankAtlantic completed a 5 to 1 reverse stock split.

But BB&T will not be acquiring any nonperforming or distressed assets as part of the deal, the company said.

"This appears to be a relatively low-risk transaction, which makes sense from a strategic standpoint," bank analyst Christopher Mutascio of Stifel Nicolaus wrote in a research note.

Bible said he did not know when the deal would close. It still needs regulatory approval, but Bible said regulators did not make any objections when BB&T put in its bid.

He said conversion costs would not be material in any given quarter.


Anonymous said...

Grow to a larger size, but exercise keen judgment in every acquisition, and never forget the customer because you have been around since 1872 and we'd like to see you around a lot longer compared to the super mega banks.

snoopy28215 said...

I agree with the above comment. I like the feel of this bank as well as the convience. I like not being nickel and dimed.

Anonymous said...

It would be nice if they could expand in NC -- I'd like to see a branch in Harrisburg.

Anonymous said...