Whitney Bank, the banking unit of Hancock Holding Company, has agreed to acquire nine branches and about $1.3bn in loans from First NBC Bank, a subsidiary of First NBC Bank Holding Company.

Whitney will take over nearly $511m in transaction and savings deposits in the nine branches and $605m in Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB) borrowings as part of the deal.

The branches to be sold are located in New Orleans, Metairie, Terrytown, Amite, Slidell, Pearl River, and Houma.

Hancock Holding Company president and CEO John Hairston said: “The purchase of these assets and liabilities will strengthen our position in Greater New Orleans, where we already enjoy one of the top market share positions, and we expect the transaction will add approximately $26 million of incremental annual earnings once completed.”

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, subject to regulatory nod.

First NBC chairman of the board Shivan Govindan said: “We believe the successful completion of the transaction should significantly increase our liquidity and our financial flexibility as we move forward and seek to refocus our efforts of managing and growing our core business.”

The deal is expected to boost First NBC’s regulatory capital ratios by 300 to 400 basis points, Govindan added.