BB&T adds terms to BankAtlantic buy

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by Associated Press

WCNC.com

Posted on March 13, 2012 at 11:52 AM

NEW YORK (AP) -- BB&T Corp, said Tuesday it will take on $285 million of BankAtlantic Bancorp's debt related to preferred securities in an effort to close its bid to acquire the bank.

The news sent BankAtlantic shares up soaring in morning trading.

Other terms of the deal, announced in November, remain unchanged. Under those terms, BB&T will pay a premium of about $301 million above net asset value for $2.1 billion in loans and roughly $3.3 billion in deposits. The exact premium will be based on deposits at closing, but will not be higher than $316 million.

In late February, the deal hit a snag when the Delaware Court of Chancery said the deal could not go forward unless BB&T assumed more of BankAtlantic's debt.

BB&T CEO Kelly S. King said the change in the agreement "fully addresses litigation obstacles and allows the transaction to move forward."

The deal is now expected to close at the end of the current quarter.

BB&T Corp., based in Winston-Salem, N.C., has said the deal, which includes the 78 remaining branches of BankAtlantic, will expand its footprint in South Florida and add to earnings in 2012 minus acquisition costs.

BB&T has been looking to expand. In early 2011, BB&T lost out to PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in an attempt to buy the U.S. retail operations and credit-card assets of Royal Bank of Canada.

Most of BB&T's acquisitions in recent years have been through its insurance division, including two deals last month that saw BB&T Insurance Services bought Atlantic Risk Management of Columbia, Md., and Liberty Benefit Insurance in San Jose, Calif.

In 2009, BB&T took over the failing Colonial Bank of Montgomery, Ala., in an FDIC-assisted deal.

BankAtlantic, a community bank based in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., opened in 1952. In June, the bank's parent closed the sale of 19 branches in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area to PNC.

BankAtlantic shares rose $1.90, or 98 percent, to $3.83 in morning trading. BB&T shares added 31 cents to $29.62.
 

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