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Mergers & Acquisitions

DOJ Clears BB&T-SunTrust With Significant Divestitures

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Published: June 22nd, 2020
The sale of 28 banks in three states to First Horizon represents the largest bank merger divestiture in more than a decade.

The Department of Justice cleared the $66 billion merger of BB&T Corp. (BBT) with SunTrust Banks Inc. (STI) by requiring the spin off of 28 banks in three states — the largest bank merger divestiture in more than a decade.

The Friday, Nov. 8, clearance of the regional banking tie-up requires the sale of branches in Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia with a combined $2.3 billion in deposits.

The same day, First Horizon National Corp. (FHN), headquartered in Memphis, announced it would acquire 30 branches from SunTrust, including the locations that must be shed.

Winston-Salem, N.C.-based BB&T, which operates in 15 states and Washington, with Atlanta-based SunTrust, which operates in 10 states and the nation’s capital unveiled the deal on Feb. 7.

The tie-up would create the sixth-largest U.S. bank based on assets and deposits once the deal is completed.

The merger still requires approval of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

DOJ Antitrust Division Chief Makan Delrahim noted in a press release that the settlement ensures that customers in the three states would “continue to have access to competitively priced banking products.”

Delrahim has repeatedly emphasized that he favors structural remedies such as divestitures over behavioral conditions that can be cumbersome for the agency to enforce.

The Deal previously reported that BB&T-SunTrust is expected to reverberate across the regional and community banking worlds and potentially alter takeout prospects for other Southeast and Southwestern U.S.-focused institutions.

To that end, First Horizon and IberiaBank Corp. (IBKC) announced their $3.9 billion merger on Nov. 4, four days before First Horizon was named as the divestiture buyer.

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