United Bankshares has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Essex Bank’s parent company Community Bankers Trust.

The $303.3m deal will create the 38th largest banking company in the US in terms of market capitalisation.

Transaction details:

As agreed, United will acquire 100% of Community Bankers Trust through an all-stock transaction. The exchange ratio will be fixed at 0.3173 of United’s shares for each Community Bankers Trust share.

Headquartered in the greater Richmond, Virginia market, Community Bankers Trust has total assets of nearly $1.7bn. Its subsidiary Essex Bank has 24 full-service offices, of which 18 are in Virginia and six in Maryland.

The deal is expected to complete in the fourth quarter of 2021. The completion is subject to regulatory approvals, green light from Community Bankers Trust shareholders and other customary conditions.

Once the deal closes, Essex Bank will merge with and into United Bankshares’ United Bank. The combined lender will have around $29bn in assets with nearly 250 locations.


United chairman and CEO Richard M. Adams said: “This transaction enhances our existing presence in the DC Metro MSA and takes us into new markets including Baltimore, Annapolis, Lynchburg, Richmond, and the Northern Neck of Virginia.

“It also strategically connects our Mid-Atlantic and Southeast footprints.”

Community Bankers Trust president and CEO Rex L. Smith III said: “The merger will give us the ability to offer better and more sophisticated products and services while still maintaining the community bank approach to doing business with local leadership.

“This will be a great benefit to our customers, to our shareholders and to the communities of Central Virginia, the Northern Neck and Eastern Maryland.”