Hancock Holding Co. will take over Gulf Coast banking rival Whitney Holding Corp. early next month. The Federal Reserve Board says it has approved the $1.5 billion stock-for-stock deal for Hancock to acquire New Orleans-based Whitney. Gulfport, Miss.-based Hancock says that after a required waiting period, the acquisition becomes official on June 5. The combination will create the 32nd largest bank holding company in the United States, with $20 billion in assets, $16 billion in deposits, $12 billion in loans and 300 branches in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The company will continue to use the Whitney Bank logo in Louisiana and Texas.
Under an agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, the combined company will sell Whitney’s entire network of seven branches in the Mississippi market of Biloxi-Gulfport, along with $155.4 million in deposits and one office in Bogalusa, along with $46.7 million in deposits. The divestitures will include commercial loans associated with the branches.