BB&T in Winston-Salem, N.C., has agreed to buy National Penn Bancshares in Allentown, Pa.

The $210 billion-asset BB&T said in a press release issued late Monday that it will pay $1.8 billion, or $13 a share, in cash and stock for the $9.6 billion-asset National Penn. The deal is expected to close by mid-2016.

The acquisition “provides a tremendous opportunity to strengthen our franchise in Pennsylvania and continue building the scale necessary to operate efficiently and with high quality service," Kelly King, BB&T’s chairman and chief executive, said in the release. "National Penn is an attractive, well-run company with strong management.”

National Penn, as of June 30, had $6.7 billion in deposits, $6.2 billion in loans and nearly 125 branches in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.

BB&T has been an aggressive consolidator in recent months, buying dozens of Texas branches from Citigroup, the $1.9 billion-asset Bank of Kentucky Financial and the $19 billion-asset Susquehanna Bancshares in Lititz, Pa.

BB&T has long maintained a strategic goal of obtaining 5% deposit share in the markets it serves, and King made it clear during a conference call last month that he was on the prowl for more large deals.

"There are a number of institutions — let's just say in the $5 billion to $20 billion range — that I think are considering their strategic alternatives and may present some availabilities," King said at the time.

National Penn fits squarely in that range and, based in the latest data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., would boost BB&T’s deposit market share in Pennsylvania to 4.8%. (The only banks with more deposits in the state would be PNC Financial Services Group, Wells Fargo and Citizens Financial Group.)

By closing in on $10 billion in assets, National Penn was set to cross a regulatory threshold that would have ushered in mandatory stress testing and caps on interchange fees. As a result, management said earlier this year that it was looking for a large acquisition. And National Penn, which bought TF Financial in October, was still sitting on roughly $400 million of excess capital.

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