Huntington Bancshares buying Camco Financial

Regional bank holding company Huntington Bancshares is buying Camco Financial, parent of Advantage Bank, in a cash-and-stock deal valued at approximately $97 million.

The purchase price includes outstanding options and warrants.

Camco Financial Corp. shareholders can choose to receive 0.7264 shares of Huntington common stock or $6 in cash for each share of Camco Financial stock they own.

Shares of Camco soared $1.87, or 47.3 percent, to $5.82 in Thursday morning trading. The stock touched $5.85 earlier in the session, its highest point since November 2008.

Huntington Bank President and CEO Steve Steinour said in a statement that the transaction will help enhance the company’s presence in existing areas and broaden its reach into new areas as well. It will also give existing customers more bank branches to use, he added.

Advantage Bank, based in Cambridge, Ohio, has more than 55,000 customers.

Huntington Bancshares Inc., based in Columbus, Ohio, expects the acquisition to add to its earnings per share in the first full year.

Both companies’ boards unanimously approved the deal, which is target to close in 2014’s first half. It still needs the approval of Camco stockholders and regulators.

Huntington Bancshares’ stock rose 18 cents, or 2.2 percent, to $8.30. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $5.81 to $8.78.

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