Atlanta isn't just the home of crunk music, it also happens to be one of the fastest growing cities in the South -- home to companies such as Coca-Cola
Apparently, North Carolina-based regional bank BB&T
This isn't new ground for BB&T by any means. The company already had a solid presence in Atlanta, and this purchase will move it from sixth place to fifth in terms of deposits in the state of Georgia and the Atlanta metro area. Further, this is a bank that has largely built itself through acquisitions, so the management team is well-practiced when it comes to clearing the regulatory, logistical, and integration issues that come with these transactions.
I've made it known in the past that I'm a fan of BB&T (though the stock has never gotten cheap enough for me to buy) and not wildly enamored with Main Street Banks. And yet, I think this deal will probably work out all right for BB&T. I see a lot of the drawbacks with Main Street -- low return on assets, high cost of deposits, and poor lending decisions in the past -- as byproducts of management. That's something that BB&T should be able to fix by swapping in its own people.
What's more, while you could argue that Main Street is somewhat overvalued relative to its peers, BB&T isn't really paying up. BB&T is offering a fixed 0.6602 shares for Main Street, and that implies a current deal price of $28.50, below yesterday's close of $28.73. That could prove to be a sticky point for investors. Even though shareholders might make more money in the long run by swapping their shares for BB&T's, and even though they'll see substantially higher dividends, "take-unders" are sometimes contentious.
I'm reasonably confident that this deal will be a positive for BB&T over the longer term, but the stock still isn't at my target price for a buy. Maybe I'll get lucky and worries about the deal will knock off a few points. In either case, I still like this regional bank quite a bit.
For more Foolishness on banking:
- Halloween Treat: BB&T
- Main Street Needs Resurfacing
- Sleep Well With BB&T
- A Closer Look at Bank Stocks
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Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares). While he's more a fan of the screeching guitar scene, he's been know to get a little crunk when he finds a good value in the market.