Bolstering its West Virginia operations, Huntington Bancshares Inc. agreed Thursday to buy CB&T Financial Corp., Fairmont, in a stock swap valued at $131.5 million.

Huntington's offer is worth about 25.50 a share, or roughly 1.8 times CB&T's expected yearend book value, said William T. McLaughlin 2d, CB&T's chairman and chief executive officer.

In late trading Thursday, shares of CB&T rose $2.25 to $22.25. Huntington's shares gained 12.5 cents, to $19.75.

|Minimal' Dilution Foreseen

Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington said it expects "minimal" 1993 dilution from the acquisition of CB&T, which has $782 million of assets, six bank charters, and 25 branches. Huntington had $13.5 billion of assets at Sept. 30.

Upon completion of the deal, Huntington would control $1.4 billion of assets in West Virginia, giving it the fourth-largest banking operation in the state. Huntington entered West Virginia in 1989.

This is the second recent interstate acquisition in West Virginia. Banc One Corp. agreed in June to buy Key Centurion Bancshares, Charleston, which is the largest banking company in the state, with $3 billion in assets.

Henry C. Dickson, a banking analyst at Kemper Securities, Chicago, said CB&T is healthy and should pose no problem for Huntington. He said CB&T finished the third quarter with an 8% ration of equity to total assets and a slender 0.70% ratio of nonperforming assets to total assets.

Merger into West Virginia Unit

CB&T earned $6.1 million during the first nine months of 1992, for annualized returns of 1.31% on assets and 14.75% on equity.

Mr. McLauglin said Huntington's plan is to merge CB&T's six charters into Huntington's West Virginia lead bank, which is located in Morgantown. The headquarters of the merged entity will be in Morgantown, said Mr. McLaughlin, who will become head of Hungtington's West Virginia operations.

Huntington earned $100.4 million during the first nine months of 1992, for an ROA at 1.06% and an ROE of 15.11%.

The two largest remaining independent banking companies in West Virginia are Charleston-based One Valley Bancorp., with $2.7 billion in assets, and United Bankshares Inc. of Parkersburg, with $1.6 billion in assets.

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