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First Horizon Buys TrustAtlantic, Ups North Carolina Base

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Almost a year after the announcement of the deal, Tennessee-based First Horizon National CorporationFHN completed the acquisition of Raleigh, N.C.-based TrustAtlantic Financial Corp.

According to the company's latest release, TrustAtlantic's systems will be converted to First Horizon's subsidiary - First Tennessee Bank on Oct 16, and the five TrustAtlantic branches are set to open as First Tennessee branches on Oct 19. As of Jun 30, 2015, TrustAtlantic Financial and its subsidiary, TrustAtlantic Bank, had around $430 million in total assets, $368 million in total deposits and gross loans of $317 million.

Bryan Jordan, Chairman and CEO of First Horizon stated "We are excited to complete this acquisition, which will enhance our ability to serve the growing Research Triangle region of North Carolina."

The new branches - four in the Raleigh-Cary metro region and one in Greenville, NC - will enhance First Tennessee's products and services offered in these main markets of North Carolina for several customers including commercial banking, commercial real estate, wealth management, and retail.

Notably, on Sep 17, First Horizon had received the approval from the Federal Reserve Board, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and state regulators for completion of the deal.

The high-potential market in North Carolina, along with the strong relationships that Trust Atlantic has built in the area, seems to have prompted First Tennessee to opt for the acquisition. The deal certainly boosts First Horizon's footprint in North Carolina.

Bottom-line

We believe the latest acquisition is a befitting one that should support the growth prospects of First Horizon, which amid the financial crisis, was severely impacted as a result of its exposure to national mortgage and construction lending. The company decided to exit these business lines and focus on growing its core Tennessee banking franchise.

The company's repositioning and restructuring efforts, which are still underway, helps it reallocate the capital into the core markets. Also, the company's focus on cost control and efforts to boost long-term profitability are expected to augur well.

First Horizon currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the banks-southeast space include BNC Bancorp BNCN , Southern First Bancshares, Inc. SFST and Atlantic Coast Financial Corp. ACFC . While both BNC Bancorp and Southern First Bancshares sport a Zacks Rank# 1 (Strong Buy), Atlantic Coast Financial carries a Zacks Rank#2 (Buy).

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FIRST HRZN NATL (FHN): Free Stock Analysis Report

BNC BANCORP (BNCN): Free Stock Analysis Report

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ATL COAST FINL (ACFC): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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