Regions to sell insurance business to BB&T

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Regions Financial in Birmingham, Ala., said Friday that it is selling its insurance business to BB&T Insurance Holdings.

The $124 billion-asset Regions did not disclose the financial terms of the sale, but said that it would use the capital generated to repurchase shares of its common stock. The sale is expected to close in the third quarter.

"This transaction supports our efforts to streamline our company and focus on businesses where we can add the most value for our clients, associates and shareholders," Chairman and CEO Grayson Hall said in a press release.

Owned by the $221.6 billion-asset BB&T in Winston-Salem, N.C., BB&T Insurance Holdings is the fifth-largest insurance broker in the U.S.

BB&T Chairman and CEO Kelly King said last year that he was interested in growing BB&T’s insurance business because it reduces the bank’s overall risk profile. At the time, he said that insurance accounted for 15% of BB&T’s total revenue, and that he wanted to increase that to 20% of total revenue eventually.

BB&T’s insurance group has more than 200 offices through subsidiaries BB&T Insurance Services, BB&T Insurance Services of California, McGriff, Seibels & Williams, CRC Insurance Services, Crump Life Insurance Services and AmRisc LLC.

Regions Insurance sells insurance products to both businesses and consumers and employs more than 600 insurance professionals in 30 offices across the Southeast, Texas and Indiana. Regions said its insurance unit is ranked among the top 35 insurance brokers in the country.

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Regions Securities LLC served as financial advisers and Maynard, Cooper & Gale PC served as legal counsel to Regions Financial on this transaction.

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