BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT), North Carolina’s second-biggest bank, agreed to buy Swett & Crawford for $500 million in cash to expand in the insurance-brokerage industry.
The purchase from Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford will add more than $200 million in annual revenue, Winston-Salem-based BB&T said Wednesday in a statement. The transaction, to close in the first half of this year, excludes non-U.S. operations that make up less than 5 percent of Swett & Crawford’s total revenue, BB&T said.
Chief Executive Officer Kelly King has been building BB&T by making deals in banking and insurance. The company purchased Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. in 2015 to expand in the Mid-Atlantic U.S., and agreed in October to buy a 17 percent stake in Miller Insurance Services LLP from Willis Group Holdings Plc.
“Swett & Crawford nicely enhances our insurance business and increases and diversifies our overall fee income profile,” King said in the statement. "With its long history and broad offerings, Swett & Crawford is a great strategic fit."
BB&T said it will fund the deal with cash that had been allocated to share repurchases in the lender’s 2015 capital plan. BB&T was advised by Deutsche Bank AG, and law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.
BB&T is not the only bank that has been looking for deals lately. Houlihan Lokey (NYSE: HLI) picked up the investment banking operations of Leonardo & Co. NV. Piper Jaffray Cos. (NYSE: PJC) said it will acquire energy-focused investment bank Simmons & Co. International; and Stifel Financial Corp. (NYSE: SF) announced plans to buy Eaton Partners.