BUSINESS

BB&T to take over Susquehanna Bank Aug. 1

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

BB&T Corporation, a Winston-Salem, N.C. financial holding company, Tuesday announced it has received regulatory approval from the Federal Reserve, the FDIC and all required state regulators to acquire Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc. The transaction closing is expected to be effective Aug. 1, and systems conversion is expected during the fourth quarter 2015.

"We are very pleased to receive this approval and excited to move forward with the merger," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kelly S. King.

"Susquehanna is a strategically compelling deal expanding our franchise into a contiguous, attractive region that presents tremendous opportunities. The diversity of our markets is a key element of our long-term success."

Changes

Stephen Trapnell, Susquehanna corporate communications manager, told Echo Pilot last fall that the deal should not have much of an affect on Greencastle customers.

“There aren’t really any BB&Ts in the area, so this is an expansion for them,” he said. “The Susquehanna name will change, but customers will still deal with the same teams and staff they are used to. They will also have access to a wider branch network.”

Trapnell said both banks were community-oriented, and the support would continue.

“Our banks have many similarities in operation. Decision making is made close to the customers. And BB&T has robust employee volunteer initiatives.”

Revolving door

This will be the third time in five years that the sign on the outside of the bank building in Greencastle’s Center Square will be changing.

Susquehanna Bank, headquartered in Lititz, has a number of branches in Franklin County, including  Greencastle and State Line. A Susquehanna spokesman told the Echo Pilot last fall when the pending deal was announced that he doesn’t except much of a change for local customers other than the name.

The bank building that holds the iconic clock tower in downtown Greencastle has been a whirlwind since 2008 when a merger with Tower Bank was proposed.

Tower purchased First National Bank of Greencastle in 2009. First National was established in 1864 and constructed its building in 1869. The clock was added in 1872.

Susquehanna took over Tower in 2011. After the acquisition, Susquehanna, which in 2005 had purchased the other longtime local bank in the town, Citizens National Bank (founded in 1901), closed the longtime location on North Carlisle Street and opted to move its in-town operations across the street, where it still functions at 40 Center Square as the local branch. There is also a Susquehanna branch in State Line.

The deal

BB&T Corporation and Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc. announced Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014, the signing of a definitive agreement under which BB&T will acquire Susquehanna in a cash and stock transaction for total consideration valued at approximately $2.5 billion. This acquisition will significantly expand BB&T's presence in the mid-Atlantic region, according to a statement released by the company.

Headquartered in Lititz, Susquehanna is a top 50 bank in the U.S. with more than 240 branch offices in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and West Virginia. The merger includes $18.7 billion in assets and $13.8 billion in deposits based on March 31, 2015, balances. The planned acquisition was originally announced Nov. 12, 2014.

Susquehanna Bank operates more than 240 branch offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and West Virginia, including Greencastle and State Line. It is part of Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc., a financial services holding company with assets of $18 billion and 3,400 employees.

BB&T is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $189.2 billion in assets and market capitalization of $28.2 billion, as of March 31, 2015. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company operates 1,875 financial centers in 13 states and Washington, D.C.

BB&T Corporation previously announced it will create three new geographic banking regions – Western Maryland and Pennsylvania, Central Pennsylvania and the Greater Delaware Valley regions. In addition, BB&T and Susquehanna Bank will consolidate their existing regions in Maryland to form a new Maryland Region.