Across the country and the world, merger and acquisition activity picked up to its highest levels in 2014 since the economic stagnation of the recession.
In Central Pennsylvania, that activity left us with some memorable deals for the year:
BB&T Corp. buys Susquehanna Bancshares Inc.
By far the biggest local deal of the year was when North Carolina-based BB&T, one of the biggest banks in the country, bought Lititz-based Susquehanna, the parent company of Susquehanna Bank, for $2.5 billion in cash and stock.
Susquehanna is the market share leader in deposits for the midstate, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and the largest bank based in the region — at least until the deal closes, which is expected in the third quarter of 2015.
Susquehanna has $18.6 billion in assets. The move isn’t expected to bring much visible change to Susquehanna customers. BB&T officials have stated that all client-facing employees will have a job with BB&T, although Kelly S. King, BB&T’s chairman and CEO, told employees in November redundant jobs will be eliminated at Susquehanna. He also said he hopes to find those employees similar positions at BB&T through normal attrition.
BB&T has said it intends to make the Lititz headquarters a branch of BB&T but has not yet stated what it intends to do with the available office space there.
Celadon buys York County trucking company
Celadon Trucking Services Inc. of Indianapolis already had a large midstate presence with operations in the transportation hub area of Carlisle. But in October, it heavily increased that presence when it bought A&S Services Group LLC of New Freedom.
Celadon paid $55 million at closing — then assumed $31.8 million in operating leases — to buy A&S Kinard, which is now a division of Celadon.
A&S had been leading its own expansion efforts, making acquisitions of trucking companies in Florida and Virginia in 2014. The 500-truck company also bought a 340,000-square-foot warehouse in West York.