Union to gain scale around Washington with $600M acquisition

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Union Bankshares in Richmond, Va., has agreed to buy Access National in Reston, Va.

The $13.1 billion-asset Union said in a press release Friday that it will pay $610 million in stock for the $2.9 billion-asset Access. The deal, which is expected to close in the first quarter, priced Access National at 243% of its tangible book value.

The transaction strengthens Union’s presence in northern Virginia. Access National has 15 branches, $2 billion in loans and $2.1 billion in deposits.

“We expect that our combined footprint will bring additional convenience to our customers and position us as an even stronger competitor against the large national banks, super regional banks and smaller community banks,” John Asbury, Union’s president and CEO, said in the release.

The acquisition “delivers on our stated priorities for this year as well as our market expansion goals in northern Virginia,” Asbury added. “Access brings extensive commercial and industrial lending expertise as well as strong wealth management and trust businesses.”

Michael Clarke, Access National’s president and CEO, will join Union’s board.

The deal is expected to be immediately accretive to Union’s earnings per share.

Union said it plans to cut $25 million in annual interest expenses. The company expects to incur $32 million in merger-related expenses. It should take less than three years for Union to earn back any dilution to its tangible book value.

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods and Covington & Burling advised Union. Sandler O’Neill and Troutman Sanders advised Access National.

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