NEW YORK (AP) _ Crestar Financial Corp. has agreed to acquire Baltimore, Md.-based Loyola Capital Corp. for $259.2 million in stock, the banks announced Friday.

Under the agreement, Loyola shareholders will receive .69 shares of Crestar stock, equal to $32 for each Loyola share.

Crestar, a regional bank based in Richmond, Va., will take over 32 branches of Loyola Capital's main subsidiary, Loyola Federal Savings Bank. Half the offices are located in Baltimore, the other half in central and eastern Maryland.

Loyola has $2.5 billion in assets, $1.5 billion in deposits and 800 employees.

The deal, subject to a definitive agreement between the two banks and approval of regulaors and Loyola's shareholders, is expected to close by the end of the year.

The acquisition will substantially add to Crestar's existing presence in Baltimore and Maryland state and will increase Crestar's assets by 17 percent.

Crestar, the leading bank in Virginia, has $14.4 billion and 349 banking offices in Virginia, Maryland and Washington.

Richard G. Tilghman, chairman and chief executive, said there is little overlap between the Crestar and Loyola branch networks, and that Crestar anticipated maintaining the Loyola branch network essentially intact.

No final decisions have been made about staffing and other merger-related issues, he said.