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Banking & Finance

United Bank To Acquire The Piedmont Bank

By Audrey Elsberry, posted May 28, 2024
United Bank officials announced the acquisition of Georgia-based The Piedmont Bank May 10. United Bank has eight branches in the greater Wilmington area. (Photo by Audrey Elsberry)
United Bankshares, Inc., the parent company of United Bank, will acquire Atlanta-based Piedmont Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of The Piedmont Bank, officials announced this month.
 
The deal will expand the bank’s markets to the greater Atlanta area as it reaches across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. This is United Bank’s 34th acquisition, according to the bank’s news release. United Bank has four branches in Wilmington and four in Brunswick County, according to bank officials.
 
“Obviously, it is an entrée into a very desirable market, one that we’ve had our eyes on for quite some time,” said Marshall Cooper, United Bank’s regional president of the Carolinas South region. “We’ve built relationships with Piedmont over the years and timing wasn’t right in the past and timing presented itself here recently.”
 
After acquiring Piedmont, United Bank will have more than $32 billion in assets and 240 locations, with $2 billion in assets and 16 locations coming from Piedmont. The deal makes United the 36th largest banking company in the U.S. based on market capitalization, according to the release.
 
United Bank will acquire all outstanding shares of Piedmont in exchange for common shares of United Bank’s stock. The aggregate transaction value is about $267 million, according to the merger agreement.
 
The deal is expected to close late in the fourth quarter of 2024 or early in the first quarter of 2025. Raymond James served as United’s financial advisor and Piper Sandler & Co. and Burke Stelling Group, LLC served as financial advisors for Piedmont, according to the release.
 
While Cooper primarily oversees the Carolinas and the Georgia-based acquisition is not in his area of expertise, he said mergers and acquisitions are a prominent line of business for United Bank. As for his coverage region, he said he could see acquisition activity in the Carolinas in the future.
 
Cooper was promoted from Wilmington market president to his current role in a gradual shift around December, he said. His oversight area includes United Bank's South Carolina markets and the Brusick and Wilmington markets. However, in the months since his promotion, bank officials have not replaced the head of the Wilmington market. Cooper currently wears both hats, he said, as he still lives in Wilmington. Officials are still searching for a local candidate to take his place.
 
There is not a goal date for when bank officials need to find a Wilmington market president, Cooper said. There is not a rush to fill the seat until they find a banking professional that fits the need.
 
“The market is somewhat fortified and we can afford to be patient to find that right person,” Cooper said.
 
Although the banking industry is in a “cycle of consolidation,” Cooper said, with some banks shuttering locations and laying off employees, he believes that Wilmington is an attractive enough market to maintain a competitive talent pool of banking professionals.
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