Union First Bank will merge with StellarOne

The parent company of Union First Market Bank, one of just two commercial banks with branches in Rappahannock County, signed a merger agreement last week to acquire StellarOne, a move the company says would create the largest community banking institution in Virginia.

The Richmond-based bank’s parent company, Union First Market Bankshares Corp., announced Monday that it will merge with Charlottesville-based StellarOne Corp. in a stock deal valued at $445.1 million.

Union First Market Bank has merged with StellarOne. Photo by Jan Clatterbuck
Union First Market Bank has merged with StellarOne. Photo by Jan Clatterbuck

Based on financials from March, the combined companies would have total assets of $7.1 billion, deposits of $5.8 billion and loans of $5.2 billion. Saying it will retain the Union name and keep its corporate headquarters in Richmond, Union First says the merger will expand its current footprint into all of Virginia’s major markets and give it the fifth-largest branch network in Virginia.

The closest StellarOne branches to Rappahannock are in Culpeper County, where there are three, and in Madison and Orange counties, which each have a branch.

“We are excited about the opportunity to bring our organizations together and establish the next great Virginia bank,” said G. William Beale, Union’s CEO. “The combination of two of Virginia’s largest community banks provides Union with the growth and synergies to continue to deliver a best in class customer experience, offer superior financial services and solutions, provide a rewarding experience for our teammates and generate top-tier financial performance for our shareholders.”

“The compatible culture of our two organizations makes this partnership a natural fit,” O. R. Barham, Jr., president and CEO of StellarOne, said. “We both are deeply committed to our communities and this merger will allow us to better serve current and future customers in markets across the commonwealth.”

Union’s current executive management, led by Beale, will form the core of the company’s leadership team. The Union board of directors is expanding to 19 members – 11 from the current Union board and eight from the StellarOne board.

Current StellarOne chairman Raymond D. Smoot, Jr. will serve as chairman of the combined company, with current Union chairman Ronald L. Hicks as vice-chairman. Barham is retiring as soon as the merger is finalized.

Under the terms of the agreement, common shareholders of StellarOne will receive 0.9739 shares of Union common stock for each share of StellarOne – a deal value per share of $19.50 or approximately $445.1 million.

The merger agreement was unanimously approved by the board of directors of both companies, and is expected to be finalized by next Jan. 1.

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