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Fitch revises Whitney's ratings after Hancock merger

GULFPORT — With the closing of Hancock Holding Company’s (HBHC’s) purchase of Whitney Holding Corp (WTNY) June 4, Fitch Ratings has revised the “Rating Watch” on Whitney Bank (previously Whitney National Bank) to “positive” from “evolving.”

Concurrent with this action, Fitch has withdrawn the ratings of Whitney Holding Corporation following the closing of the transaction and the retirement of WTNY’s $300 million of preferred shares issued to the U.S. Treasury as the entity will no longer exist.

Fitch wrote: “In revising the ‘Rating Watch’ to ‘positive’ from ‘evolving,’ it is Fitch’s opinion that the combined entity would result in long- and short-term IDR ratings that are no lower than Whitney Bank’s current IDRs of ‘BBB/F2’ and could be as high as ‘A-/F1’. Fitch will update its ratings for Whitney Bank and the combined entity following a comprehensive review of HBHC.”

Source: Fitch Ratings

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