Merger talks between McLean, Va.-based Southern National Bancorp of Virginia Inc. and Glen Allen, Va.-based Eastern Virginia Bankshares Inc. go back from the fourth quarter of 2011, when Southern National's Chairman and CEO Georgia Derrico and President and Vice Chairman Roderick Porter discussed with Eastern Virginia's President and CEO Joe Shearin the potential combination of their companies. However, no formal proposals were put forward at the time due to market conditions and the regulatory environment.
In May 2015, the two companies each bought portions of the equity of Southern Trust Mortgage from another Virginia-based company. Porter and Shearin were both named to the board of Southern Trust Mortgage, where the two continued assessing the banking market and regulatory environment.
Talks of a merger between Southern National and Eastern Virginia resurfaced in August 2016, with the parties agreeing that a merger of equals would mutually benefit them considering their combined balance sheet, the nature of their businesses, opportunities for growth, and geographic locations.
The two companies executed a mutual nondisclosure agreement on Sept. 29, 2016. Over the next couple of months, the two companies with their representatives negotiated the terms of the deal. The merger agreement was executed on Dec. 13, 2016, with the two companies publicly announcing the deal that day after the close of the stock market.