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BB&T to Further Boost Insurance Biz

Zacks Equity Research

BB&T Corporation’s (BBT) subsidiary, BB&T Insurance Services, announced the acquisition of Woodbury & Co. The deal will increase the company’s footprint in North and South Carolina as Woodbury has offices in Wilmington (NC) and Myrtle Beach (SC).

Though the terms of the deal were not disclosed, it is scheduled to be completed on April 1. Moreover, upon completion, BB&T Insurance will integrate its existing offices in Wilmington and Myrtle Beach with Woodbury. Additionally, Woodbury’s President and Commercial Lines Manager will be joining BB&T Insurance’s management team.

Founded in 1932, Woodbury offers commercial property and casualty, employee benefits, individual life and health, personal lines as well as professional liability insurance to businesses and individuals. Currently, Woodbury employs more than 50 people.

This is BB&T’s first acquisition deal this year. Earlier in Dec 2013, the company announced a deal to acquire 21 branches in Texas from Citibank, the consumer banking division of Citigroup Inc. (C) for $36 million. The transaction is expected to close by the second quarter of 2014. Earlier in Jul 2012, the company acquired BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc.’s wholly-owned bank subsidiary, BankAtlantic.

Further, in April 2012, BB&T Insurance acquired NJ-based Crump Group Inc.’s life insurance and property and casualty (P&C) insurance units, along with the rights to use the Crump name. Also, in 2011, BB&T Insurance completed the acquisition of Atlantic Risk Management, Liberty Benefit Insurance Services and Precept Group.

Apart from growing inorganically, BB&T remains focused on its organic growth strategy. This will continue to improve the quality of its deposit base, reduce funding costs and aid growth in fee income.

Currently, BB&T carries a Zacks Rank # 3 (Hold). Some better-ranked major banks include BankUnited, Inc. (BKU) and KeyCorp. (KEY). Both of these have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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