BB&T to Acquire the Bank of Kentucky

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BB&T has agreed to buy the Bank of Kentucky for $363 million in cash and stock.

The acquisition would allow the $188 billion-asset BB&T to expand in the northern Kentucky and Cincinnati region, where the $1.9 billion-asset Bank of Kentucky operates 32 branches. The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year.

"We are developing exciting plans for additional banking center locations in the greater Cincinnati area," Kelly King, BB&T's chairman and chief executive, said in a news release Monday. "Establishing this new banking region with such strong leadership is an important first step."

The announcement comes just one week after BB&T announced plans to further expand in Texas, agreeing to buy Citi's remaining 41 branches in the state. BB&T, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., operates more than 1,800 branches, primarily in the South and East.

BB&T plans to create a new banking region that encompasses northern Kentucky and the Cincinnati metropolitan area. The unit will be overseen by Andrew Hawking, head of commercial lending at the Bank of Kentucky.

Additionally, Mark Exterkamp, the Bank of Kentucky's executive vice president for retail banking, will lead the new BB&T division's small-business banking group. Robert Zapp, the bank's president and chief executive officer, will join BB&T as chairman of the local advisory board.

The Bank of Kentucky has its headquarters in Crestview Hills.

The Cincinnati division would be the first regional unit created by BB&T since May 2013, when it consolidated to 23 regional divisions and cut 14 regional presidents in North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Georgia and Texas.

Deutsche Bank Securities advised BB&T on the deal, while Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz provided legal counsel. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods served as financial adviser to the Bank of Kentucky, and Squire Patton Boggs served as the bank's legal counsel.

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