M&A deals multiple handshakesSwett & Crawford, a U.S. wholesale commercial insurance broker for more than a century, has caught the eye of BB&T, which will snatch up the company in a $500 million cash deal with Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford.

The purchase will close in the first half of 2016, pending regulatory approval.

BB&T said it is pursuing the “strategically compelling” transaction in order to add scale up its own wholesale insurance business. Deal details underscore this point: BB&T said the acquisition of Swett & Crawford (or CGSC North America Holdings Corporation) will add more than $200 million in annual revenue to BB&T Insurance, and that it will record about $500 million of goodwill and intangibles as part of the acquisition.

“We have admired the Swett & Crawford business model for many years,” BB&T Insurance Chairman and CEO John Howard said in prepared remarks. “This represents a compelling opportunity to further build BB&T Insurance with the addition of a world-class company with a strong and talented team of industry specialists.”

One thing to note: the deal won’t include Swett & Crawford’s non-U.S. business. According to the deal announcement, it accounts for less than 5 percent of total revenue.

BB&T’s wholesale insurance operations currently include property/casualty broker and managing general agent CRC Insurance Services, Crump Life Insurance Services and managing general underwriter AmRisc.

BB&T Insurance is the fifth largest insurance broker in the U.S. by revenue.

Swett & Crawford, a wholesale insurance broker for more than 100 years, works with insureds’ retail insurance agents or brokers to provide commercial coverages and specialty programs for a variety of risks.

Source: BB&T Corp.