BB&T Corp. has agreed to buy Life Bancorp of Norfolk, Va., in a stock transaction valued at $359.2 million.

BB&T chairman John Allison said the deal was a "major step" toward building a statewide franchise in Virginia. BB&T controls the largest share of the deposits in the Carolinas. It has $27.1 billion of assets. Life Bancorp, with approximately $1.5 billion of assets, operates 20 full- service banking offices and focuses on retail banking and mortgage banking.

The transaction will be accounted for as a pooling of interest.

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