StellarOne LogoUnion First Market Bankshares Corp. plans to acquire StellarOne Corp. in a stock transaction valued at $445 million. The banks announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement on Monday in a news release. They say the merger will create the largest community banking institution in Virginia, with total assets of more than $7 billion.  The combined company will retain the Union name. Its headquarters will remain in Richmond.

Union CEO G. William Beale will lead the combined company’s leadership team. StellarOne president and CEO O.R. Barham Jr. will retire, effective when the merger is completed. StellarOne chairman Raymond D. Smoot Jr. will become chairman of the combined company.  The merger must be approved by regulators and shareholders. It’s expected to be completed around Jan. 1, 2014.