What happened?
A merger in the banking sector has gotten the green light from the investors in the company being acquired. National Penn Bancshares (UNKNOWN:NPBC.DL) announced that its shareholders approved a proposed merger with regional financial-services company BB&T (NYSE:BBT). The news comes several months after the two companies agreed in principle to the deal. In a tersely worded press release on the shareholder vote, National Penn Bancshares quoted its CEO, Scott Fainor, as saying those investors "overwhelmingly supported" what is effectively a buyout by BB&T. National Penn Bancshares did not specify what percentage of those stockholders voted in favor of the deal. The merger is still subject to approval from the relevant regulatory bodies; given the likely possibility this occurs, BB&T will absorb another asset in what has been a mini-acquisition spree this year.

Does it matter?
The merger is, naturally, a fundamental change for National Penn Bancshares stockholders, and one with substantially less impact for BB&T investors. Having National Penn Bancshares in its portfolio will add roughly $10 billion in assets to BB&T's balance sheet, which isn't a tremendous amount when matched against the latter's tally of nearly $210 billion. Still, the deal, combined with the purchase of Susquehanna Bancshares earlier this year, will help expand BB&T's footprint in the mid-Atlantic region -- National Penn Bancshares has 124 branches throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Maryland, while Susquehanna had over 240 locations in those states, plus West Virginia.

Meanwhile, BB&T is funding 70% of the National Penn Bancshares with its own stock, leaving it on the hook for only around $540 million in cash. That's only a fraction of the nearly $5.5 billion it reaped in net interest income in its fiscal 2014.