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Columbia Business Monthly

First Horizon and Iberiabank join forces to create a larger Carolinas footprint

By David Dykes

First Horizon National Corp., a Memphis-based bank holding company, is on the move in the Carolinas, buying Iberiabank Corp. in an all-stock merger that will join branches in Columbia and Greenville.

Under the terms of the agreement, unanimously approved by directors of both companies, the combined holding company and bank will operate under the First Horizon name and be headquartered in Memphis. 

Once the transaction is completed, the combined company will be one of the largest financial services companies headquartered in the South and one of the top 25 banks in the U.S. in deposits.

The combined organization will have $75 billion in assets, $57 billion in deposits and $55 billion in loans. Bank officials say the merger combines two complementary franchises positioned to increase their client base through greater scale, strategic investments in advanced technologies and expanded product offerings.

First Horizon has offices in Columbia, Boiling Springs, Greenville, Mt. Pleasant, Spartanburg and Tega Cay, according to its website. Lafayette, La.-based Iberiabank has a branch in Greenville.

First Horizon also has agreed to acquire 30 SunTrust branches in North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia to satisfy regulatory requirements connected with the previously announced merger between SunTrust and BB&T.

Those acquisitions aren’t related to First Horizon’s merger with Iberiabank.

The combination strengthens the competitive position in high-growth, demographically attractive Southern markets, bank officials said. The pro forma bank branch footprint is located in 15 of the top 20 Southern MSAs by population and in 11 states throughout the combined footprint, the officials said.

In South Carolina, First Horizon, formerly First Tennessee Bank, had less than 1 percent of the deposit market share in the Columbia metropolitan area and in South Carolina as of June 30, according to Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. data.

The bank trailed 12 others in the Columbia area and 22 others statewide, including big-brother brethren Wells Fargo, Bank of America, BB&T and competitors First Citizens, Synovus and South State.

Under the terms of the merger agreement, Iberiabank shareholders will receive 4.584 shares of First Horizon for each Iberiabank share they own. First Horizon shareholders will own 56 percent, and Iberiabank shareholders will own 44 percent of the combined company. 

“Our merger of equals with Iberiabank is an exciting milestone and the logical next step in the continued successful transformation of our company,” said D. Bryan Jordan, First Horizon’s chairman and CEO. 

Bank officials said the combined company will maintain a significant operating presence in all markets in which both companies operate. The combined company’s regional banking headquarters will be located in New Orleans.

The combined company will be led by a board and executive leadership team composed of members from both First Horizon and Iberiabank.

The board will consist of nine directors from First Horizon and eight directors from Iberiabank. The new company will be led by Daryl G. Byrd, Iberiabank’s president and CEO, as executive chairman, and Jordan as chief executive officer.

The merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020, subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and approval by the shareholders of each company.

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