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BNC Bancorp, North Carolina’s most successful community-bank growth story of the past five years, is selling out to Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners.

Pinnacle is paying $1.9 billion in an all-stock transaction, Pinnacle said in a press release. The deal values BNC’s stock at $35.70. Shares closed at $33.20 on Friday Jan. 20, a record closing price. Stockholder and regulatory approval are pending.

High Point-based BNC, which operates as Bank of North Carolina in the Tar Heel state, will be renamed Pinnacle Bank. It will have $20 billion in assets with offices in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.

BNC CEO Rick Callicutt, who helped form the bank in 1991, will head South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia operations for Pinnacle. He and three other BNC directors will join Pinnacle’s board.

BNC was started with $3.8 million raised by former CEO Swope Montgomery and Callicutt, according to a Business North Carolina story in 2014. Its major growth followed the purchase of a 21% stake by New York private-equity group Aquiline Partners in 2010 for $25 million. At the time, BNC had about $1 billion in assets.

Now the company has assets of more than $7.5 billion, after purchasing High Point Bank & Trust Co. last year.

About 4% of BNC’s voting stock and 100% of its nonvoting stock was held by New York-based Aquiline, according to the company’s 2016 proxy filings. Aquiline’s principals include Ken Thompson, former CEO of Charlotte-based Wachovia Corp., who is a key adviser to Callicutt.

The transaction continues the rapid consolidation of North Carolina’s banking industry. FNB Corp. of Pennsylvania is in the process of buying Raleigh-based Yadkin Financial. The state’s largest remaining independent community-oriented banks include Raleigh-based First Citizens Bancshares, Charlotte-based Capital Bank Financial and Southern Pines-based First Bancorp.

“Both we and Pinnacle have been committed to the idea that the Southeast deserves an impactful financial services firm with significant scale that operates with the culture of a community bank with local decision making led by banking professionals that are experienced and established in each market,” Callicutt said in a statement.

Pinnacle’s quarterly dividend is 14 cents per share, compared with BNC’s 5 cent quarterly payout, according to the release. It is the company’s first expansion outside of Tennessee.

 

David Mildenberg
David Mildenberg is editor of Business North Carolina. Reach him at dmildenberg@businessnc.com.
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