Hancock, Whitney merger approved

Hancock Holding Company announced Friday that the company has received all federal regulatory approvals required under the merger agreement in connection with its proposed merger of Whitney Holding Corporation.

"Hancock and Whitney were both founded to facilitate commerce and opportunities for people throughout the Gulf South region. For more than a century, both institutions have served complementary geographical footprints according to core values that reflect the spirit of those communities-integrity, service, resilience, and teamwork," Hancock Holding Company president and chief executive officer Carl J. Chaney said in a press release on Friday.

"We believe today's announcement presents an unprecedented opportunity to enhance shareholder value and strengthen the financial options available to individuals and businesses from Texas to Central Florida.

The closing of the merger is expected to be effective as of 11:59 pm on Saturday, June 4, 2011.

Upon completion of the transaction, the combined company is expected to be the 32nd largest bank holding company headquartered in the United States, with approximately $20 billion in total assets, $16 billion in deposits, $12 billion in loans,over 300 branches, nearly 400 ATMs, and almost 5,000 employees across the five contiguous states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida.