BB&T to buy Tenn. bank for nearly $143 million |

BB&T to buy Tenn. bank for nearly $143 million

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – BB&T Corp., the nation’s ninth-largest bank, said Thursday it will buy First Citizens Bancorp for nearly $143 million in a deal to strengthen its presence in eastern Tennessee.Cleveland, Tenn.-based First Citizens, with $686 million in assets, operates 16 branches in Tennessee, two in North Carolina and one in Georgia. BB&T, with $107.1 billion in assets, operates more than 1,400 banking offices in 11 states and the District of Columbia.First Citizens shareholders can elect to receive either 1.3 shares of BB&T stock for each of their shares or cash. The purchase, which is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval, is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2006. It has been approved by the boards of both banks.”This merger accelerates our long-term earnings growth potential by expanding our Tennessee market,” John Allison, chief executive and chairman of Winston-Salem-based BB&T, said in a statement.The $142.6 million acquisition comes a month after BB&T announced it would buy Atlanta’s Main Street Banks Inc. in a $622.7 million stock swap.Shares of BB&T fell 55 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $41.39 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.First Citizens Bancorp is not affiliated with Raleigh-based First Citizens Bancshares, which has more than $11.4 billion in assets and 337 branches in North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee and Maryland.Vail, Colorado

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