U.S. Markets open in 8 hrs 42 mins

Union First to acquire StellarOne in $445M deal

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Union First Market Bankshares Corp. plans to acquire StellarOne Corp. in a stock transaction valued at $445 million.

The banks say the deal will create the largest community banking institution in Virginia, with total assets of more than $7 billion.

The combined company will retain the Union name. Its headquarters will remain in Richmond.

Union CEO G. William Beale will lead the combined company's leadership team. StellarOne president and CEO O.R. Barham Jr. will retire, effective when the deal is completed. StellarOne chairman Raymond D. Smoot Jr. will become chairman of the combined company.

The deal must be approved by regulators and shareholders. It's expected to be completed around Jan. 1, 2014.