Hugh McColl may get the last laugh. Two years ago, NCNB's acquisitive chairman offered to acquire Atlanta-based Citizens & Southern but was rebuffed by C&S Chairman Bennett Brown. Instead, Brown engineered a merger with Virginia's Sovran Financial. But all has not gone well. The stock price of C&S/Sovran has been in a long slump, mostly because of concerns over bad loans.
That has given McColl the opening he needed. C&S/Sovran confirmed on June 26 that the board has authorized Brown to meet McColl to discuss a merger plan. If an agreement is reached, it would create the second-largest U. S. bank, with more than $115 billion in assets.