BB&T Corp. continued its rampage through the Southeast on Tuesday, announcing plans to buy FirstSpartan Financial Corp. in Spartanburg, S.C., for $103.9 million in stock.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

BB&T, of Winston-Salem N.C., already has the third-largest market share in South Carolina. By acquiring $591 million-asset FirstSpartan, the parent of First Federal Bank of Spartanburg, BB&T would gain the top market share in fast-growing Spartanburg County.

The announcement capped a busy summer for $55.2 billion-asset BB&T. Two weeks ago the company said it would enter Tennessee by acquiring BankFirst Corp. of Knoxville, and it announced a deal for FCNB of Frederick, Md. in July.

BB&T also closed two deals in Georgia in June and one in West Virginia in July.

The company, which would have $59 billion of assets if the three pending deals were completed, has no plans to slow down. Scott Reed, BB&T's chief financial officer, said it will continue its growth in the Southeast through small acquisitions.

"Our acquisitions are small, but in various markets it makes us much stronger, and this deal is a perfect example," he said.

Charlie Earnst, an analyst at Putnam Lovell Securities in New York, said the FirstSpartan deal "is similar to the size of deals that we expect from BB&T." Unlike its past deals, however, "the cost savings are a little bit higher, because it is an in-market deal," he said.

Mr. Reed said BB&T may consolidate branches where it and First Federal overlap, but he stressed that no decision has been made. The First Federal branches that remained open would be renamed BB&T.

BB&T would trade one of its own shares for each of FirstSpartan's. FirstSpartan shares soared on news of the deal; they were trading at $26.375 late Wednesday, up nearly 30%.

BB&T's stock was trading at $27.1875, 1.4 times FirstSpartan's per-share book value.

Billy L. Painter, president of FirstSpartan, would be a top executive and a director of BB&T of South Carolina.


Related Content Online:

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.