Claude E. Davis will transition into the role of Executive Chairman. CONTRIBUTED

First Financial Bank merges with MainSource Bank in Ohio, other states

First Financial Bancorp and MainSource Financial Group have agreed to partner to form a new bank in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.

The merger combines the two Midwest community banks to create a $13 billion institution with “scale and strength in commercial and retail banking, wealth management and specialty finance,” a company statement said.

Under the merger agreement, shareholders of MainSource will receive 1.39 common shares of First Financial common stock for each share of MainSource common stock, according to the company. The transaction is valued at approximately $1 billion.

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At closing, First Financial shareholders will own approximately 63 percent of the combined company and MainSource shareholders will open approximately 37 percent. The merger will also result in a combined company with approximately $13.3 billion in assets, $8.9 billion in loans and $4 billion in assets under management.

“By taking the best of both banks, we believe that the combined company will be even more effective in meeting the lending, economic development and financial education needs of the communities we serve,” said Claude Davis, chief executive officer of First Financial.

Davis will transition into the role of executive chairman and Archie Brown will serve as president and chief executive officer of the merged entity.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2018, pending the approval of shareholders of both First Financial and MainSource and regulatory approvals. The combined company will operate as First Financial and its headquarters will be located in Cincinnati.

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