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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Union, StellarOne deal to close Jan. 1

Union First Market Bankshares Corp. and StellarOne Corp. are on track to merge Jan. 1, Union CEO Billy Beale said Monday.

The two banks announced the merger in June. The StellarOne name will disappear when the two banks’ operations are officially combined May 9.

The combined entity’s headquarters will be in Richmond. Back-office operations will be in the Carmel Church area of Caroline County.

Union has said more than 10 bank branches will be closed as a result of the merger but has not announced the locations.

Many of the branch closures will likely be in the Fredericksburg market, where there are numerous Stellar and Union branches within close proximity of each other. There is also some overlap in the Richmond, Charlottesville and Harrisonburg markets, Beale said when the merger was announced.

For branches that are closed where the bank owns the real estate, Beale said, the company’s preference would be to sell. Leasing the space would be a backup plan.