First Virginia to Buy Roanoke-Area Bank

By Marriott, Anne | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 30, 1996 | Go to article overview
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First Virginia to Buy Roanoke-Area Bank


Marriott, Anne, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


First Virginia Banks Inc. yesterday agreed to acquire Premier Bankshares Corp. through a stock swap worth $160.4 million, doubling its presence in Southwest Virginia.

The Falls Church-based bank holding company, which operates nearly 40 First Virginia branches from Roanoke to the Tennessee border, will receive three bank divisions with 36 branches when it completes the deal early next year. It will become the dominant bank in nine of 13 counties in that area.

"The southwestern market of Virginia is one that is a very profitable one for us," said Richard F. Bowman, the chief financial officer of First Virginia. "We were strong in Roanoke and Bristol, while Premier was strong in all the areas in between."

Although no decisions have been made concerning which branches will close or how many people will lose jobs because of the merger, Mr. Bowman said he expects some overlapping branches to consolidate and some office employees to be laid off.

First Virginia has $8.2 billion in assets, while Premier has $748 million in assets.

Premier stockholders will receive 0.545 shares of First Virginia stock, or about $24.12, for every share of the Bluefield-based bank holding company's stock they own. The merger should be complete by April, pending shareholder and regulatory approval, the companies said.

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