First Financial completes $14B merger

The First Financial Bank building in downtown Hamilton. Staff photo/Greg Lynch

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The First Financial Bank building in downtown Hamilton. Staff photo/Greg Lynch

First Financial Bancorp said Monday it has completed a previously-announced merger with MainSource Financial Group, Inc. The newly combined company, operating as First Financial Bancorp, with its banking subsidiary, First Financial Bank, has a total asset size of about $14 billion.

“We are excited to combine two community-focused financial institutions who are both significantly involved in the markets they serve,” Archie Brown, Jr., president and chief executive of the newly combined First Financial Bank, said in an announcement.

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“We see this merger as a significant milestone in our company’s history that positions us for continued growth and success,” Claude Davis, executive chairman of the newly combined company, said in the same statement.

The MainSource banking centers will continue to operate under the name “MainSource Bank” until conversion of the operating systems, expected to happen in the second quarter this year.

During a “conversion weekend,” slated for May 25-28, MainSource banking centers along with the client relationships and all accounts will convert to First Financial Bank. All MainSource banking centers will be closed on Saturday, May 26 for the transition.

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The banking centers will reopen under the First Financial brand Tuesday, May 29, and clients will have access to a network of approximately 150 banking centers and over 55,000 ATMs.

Pursuant to terms, each share of MainSource common stock has been converted into the right to receive 1.3875 shares of First Financial common stock, with cash to be paid in lieu of fractional shares.

As of the end of last year, Cincinnati-based First Financial Bancorp. had $8.9 billion in assets, $6 billion in loans, $6.9 billion in deposits and $930.7 million in shareholders’ equity.

The company’s subsidiary, First Financial Bank, was founded in 1863.

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