Susquehanna shareholders approve BB&T deal

By on March 18, 2015

The sale of Susquehanna Bank BBT to BB&T Corp. has cleared another important hurdle.

Susquehanna shareholders voted Friday to approve Susquehanna’s merge with BB&T.

Completion is still subject to customary closing conditions, including federal regulatory approvals.

William J. Reuter, chairman and chief executive officer of Susquehanna, expressed satisfaction with the vote in which almost 145 million of 182 million outstanding shares were cast in approval of the acquisition.

“We’re pleased with the overwhelming support our shareholders have shown for our plan to join BB&T, which shares Susquehanna’s heritage as a community-focused bank,” he said.

Susquehanna shareholder voters met on Friday at a special meeting at the Susquehanna Learning and Resource Center in Mountville. Shareholders could also vote online or by phone.

Upon completion of the merger, Susquehanna shareholders will receive 0.253 shares of BB&T common stock and $4.05 in cash for each share of Susquehanna common stock.

It is the first news in a month concerning BB&T’s announced plans to purchase Susquehanna for $2.5 billion in cash and stock.

The deal is expected to be completed later this year.
Last month, Stephen Trapnell, Susquehanna spokesman, announced that BB&T planned to retain Susquehanna Bancshares’ headquarters campus in

Lititz and continue to operate a customer service center and other operations there following the acquisition.

The campus, which includes Susquehanna’s corporate headquarters, will be home to a customer service center and other professionals needed to support services and operations for North Carolina-based BB&T.

The number of employees to be based in Lititz will be determined as planning for the merger progresses. The merger, which requires regulatory approval and approval of Susquehanna shareholders, is tentatively expected to be completed in the second half of 2015.

“BB&T’s history is very similar to Susquehanna’s — both companies were founded in small towns, and we recognize the important role the bank plays in the local community,” said Ricky K. Brown, president of BB&T. “We’re still in the early stages of the merger planning and approval process, so we don’t yet have the answers to all the questions people may have. But rest assured we are excited to be joining the Lititz community, and we’ll share more information as soon as we can.”

“We’ve been proud to call Lititz our home since the bank was founded in 1901, and we’ll continue to be an active part of the local business community when we join BB&T,” said William J. Reuter, chairman and chief executive officer of Susquehanna. “Like Susquehanna, BB&T got its start as a small community bank, and that commitment to our local neighbors is an important part of our heritage.”

BB&T also has committed $10 million for a foundation that will promote economic development throughout Lancaster County. Plans for the foundation are under development.

Susquehanna’s Lititz campus includes its corporate headquarters in a historic building that originally served as a paper mill in the 1900s, as well as its branch on the square and several other properties.

In related news, BB&T passed an annual stress test, showing that the Winston-Salem-based bank could “withstand a severe recession.”

This type of testing — mandated by the federal Dodd-Frank Act passed in response to the recent recession — estimates a bank’s financial stability.

Patrick Burns is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4455.

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