Richmond, Va.-based Union Bankshares Corp. announced the completion of its acquisition of Access National Corp., Reston, Va. This transaction strengthens Union’s presence in Virginia’s most populous market in the north.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, Access shareholders receive 0.75 shares of Union common stock in exchange for each share of Access common stock they owned, with cash paid in lieu of fractional shares. Based on the $31.56 Jan. 31 closing price of Union common stock, the deal value was approximately $500 million.
“Access was the last piece of the jigsaw puzzle for Union to complete its Virginia footprint and further solidifies our position as the first statewide independent regional bank headquartered in the Commonwealth in nearly 20 years,” said John C. Asbury, president and CEO of Union. “Our combined lending power and footprint will bring additional convenience to our customers and better position ourselves as a stronger competitor against the large national banks, super regional banks and smaller community banks alike.”
In accordance with the merger agreement, Michael W. Clarke has been appointed to the board of directors of Union. Clarke has agreed to serve as a consultant to the company for a period of one year to ensure a successful merger integration and assist in business development. Clarke has served as president, CEO and a director of Access since its formation in 2002, and has served as CEO and director of Access National Bank since its formation in 1999.
Based on financial information reported as of Dec. 31, 2018, the combined company would have total assets of approximately $16.8 billion, deposits of approximately $12.2 billion and loans of approximately $11.9 billion. Union will operate the former Access National Bank branches as Access National Bank, a division of Union Bank & Trust of Richmond, Va., or Middleburg Bank, a division of Union Bank & Trust, Richmond, Va., until systems are converted in May 2019.
Union’s recent acquisitions of Access and Xenith Bank, which have strengthened the institution and expanded its reach, have also added complexity to the brand portfolio. As a way to ensure recognition and clarity in the marketplace, Union Bank & Trust is expected to unify the bank’s operations under the Atlantic Union Bank brand starting in May 2019, subject to any necessary approvals.
“We want a unifying brand that makes it easy for our customers to recognize us no matter where they live, work and play throughout the Mid-Atlantic region — from Virginia to North Carolina and Maryland,” said Asbury.
“The ‘Union’ name has been a focal point of the institution’s history for nearly 100 years and it was important to retain this link to our past. ‘Union’ is key because it represents the unification of multiple community banks that have come together over time to deliver better banking to our customers. Additionally, the new name references our geographic expansion throughout the Mid-Atlantic region from Maryland to North Carolina. Atlantic Union Bank is the perfect marriage between who we are today and where we came from.”
Chief Marketing Officer Duane Smith confirmed customers throughout the region were surveyed to review and evaluate the new name and image. “We listened to consumers in the community, and they responded most positively to the Atlantic Union Bank name. We couldn’t be happier with the results; it is an exciting and logical evolution for an established, respected and proud institution,” he said. “Atlantic Union Bank is a distinctive name that will be coupled with an energizing new look, enabling customers to easily and immediately identify with their bank. It sends a clear message we are transforming into a unified and growing provider of financial services.”
As part of the brand change, Union Bankshares Corp. intends to change its name to Atlantic Union Bankshares Corp., subject to shareholder and other approvals.