United Bank acquiring Essex Bank, its 33rd acquisition

United Bankshares, with dual headquarters in Charleston, West Virginia, and D.C., is making the latest in a string of acquisitions, acquiring Richmond, Virginia-based Community Bankers Trust in a deal worth $303.3 million.

Community Bankers is the parent company of Essex Bank,

With this acquisition, United Bank will have $29 billion in assets and will rank as the 38th largest U.S. bank, based on market capitalization.

United Bank is already the largest community bank based in the D.C. region.

This is at least the 33rd acquisition United Bank has made, including recent acquisitions of Cardinal Bank, Bank of Georgetown and Virginia Commerce Bank. With the addition of Community Bankers Trust, it will have 250 branch locations.

“This transaction enhances our existing presence in the D.C. Metro, and takes us into new markets including Baltimore, Annapolis, Lynchburg, Richmond and the Northern Neck of Virginia,” said Richard Adams, United Bank chief executive. “It also strategically connects our mid-Atlantic and Southeast footprints.”

Community Bankers Trust chief executive Rex Smith III will become regional president for the existing Essex Bank locations in Virginia after the merger. The merger is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021.

United Bank currently has $27 billion in assets and 223 branches from Georgia to Ohio.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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