BB&T May Seek Acquisitions in Maryland, Texas to Boost Share

BB&T Corp. (BBT), the ninth-largest U.S. bank by deposits, may consider acquisitions in Maryland and Texas to reach at least a No. 5 market share in those states, Chief Executive Officer Kelly King said.

“We need a little work in Maryland,” King, 63, said in an interview yesterday. “We are just getting started in Texas, and so you would expect over time to see us be willing to consider acquisitions” of between $3 billion and $15 billion, he said.

BB&T has acquired more than 35 community banks and thrifts since 1995, according to the Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based company’s website. The lender said this week that it agreed to buy Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based BankAtlantic Bancorp Inc.’s retail-lending unit, adding about $2.1 billion in loans and $3.3 billion in deposits. King said last month that acquisitions ranked third among choices for how the company would use its capital, behind “organic growth” and dividends.

BB&T aims to be “top-five in market share” among the states it serves and to increase lending as credit improves, King said. It was not in the top 10 in Texas last year, where No. 1 ranked JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) had 80 percent of the market, according to the most recent data compiled by Bloomberg Industries.

It ranked seventh in Maryland with 6.5 percent of the market, and fifth in Florida with almost 15 percent. The lender has more than 1,800 locations in 12 states and Washington, D.C., according to its website. The BankAtlantic deal will add 78 branches and boost its share of the Miami market to sixth, BB&T said this week in a statement.

“Our primary focus is always on our organic growth, and we try to supplement that with strategic mergers when they make sense,” King said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Charles Mead in New York at cmead11@bloomberg.net; Suzanne O’Halloran in New York at sohalloran@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net

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