SunTrust Banks (STI) - Get Report and BB&T Corp (BBT) - Get Report unveiled a $66 billion all-stock merger Thursday that would create the sixth-biggest commercial bank in the United States.

SunTrust said the deal would create a company with $442 billion in assets, as well as $324 billion in deposits with a customer base of around 10 million American household. The all-stock deal will seen SunTrust investors receiving 1.295 shares of BB&T for each stock they own, as well as a 5% increased in their dividend, with BB&T owning 57% of the combined group's $28.24 billion in equity to 43% for SunTrust.

"This is a true merger of equals, combining the best of both companies to create the premier financial institution of the future," said BB&T CEO Kelly King. "It's an extraordinarily attractive financial proposition that provides the scale needed to compete and win in the rapidly evolving world of financial services. Together with Bill's leadership and our new SunTrust teammates, we're going to bring the best of both companies forward to serve our clients and communities."

BB&T shares were marked 1.4% higher at $49.22 each by late morning trading Thursday trading, against a 1.08% decline for the S& 500 (^GSPC) , while SunTrust shares were seen 7.3% higher at $63.03 each. 

BB&T said the merger would add 13% in GAAP earnings accretion in 2021, with a 9% addition expected for SunTrust. The tie-up is also forecast to deliver $1.6 billion in annual net cost synergies by 2022, the companies said, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Atlanta-based SunTrust posted full-year 2018 earnings $5.74 per share last week, up nearly 28% from 2017 and firmly ahead of analysts' forecasts.

SunTrust's total revenue for the final quarter rose 4% to $2.4 billion, thanks largely to higher net interest income, which jumped $98 million from the same period last year to $1.6 billion. For 2018, total net interest income rose 5% to $6.1 billion.

Winston-Salem, North Carolina-based BB&T posted fourth quarter earnings of 97 cents per share last month, a figure which missed analysts forecasts, but noted that revenues rose 2% from the same period last year to $2.97 billion.