After eyeing Tennessee for months, BB&T Corp. has finally made its move.
The Winston-Salem, N.C., company announced Wednesday that it plans to buy BankFirst Corp. of Knoxville in a stock swap valued at $149.7 million. In acquiring $848 million-asset BankFirst, BB&T would enter the state as its 11th-largest bank company, with 32 branches. Scott Reed, BB&T's chief financial officer, said the company had been looking to expand in Tennessee and was particularly attracted to the Knoxville market. Eastern Tennessee is growing fast, especially along the I-75 and I-81 corridors, where new technology companies continue to sprout up, Mr. Reed said.