Bank merger planned

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First Financial Bancorp and MainSource Financial Group have agreed to partner to form a new bank in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky according to news reports on Tuesday, July 25th.

MainSource offices in Greensburg will be moved to Cincinnati The deal includes a commitment of 100 jobs and $1 million in community support to Greensburg over the next five years. However, jobs are expected to be reduced in southeastern Indiana. The banks will eliminate 45 to 50 branches in their combined 203-branch network.

Downtown Rising Sun has had a bank at the corner of Main and Walnut streets with many names including Rising Sun State Bank, Madison Bank and Trust, National City and MainSource.

When the merger is finalized in early 2018, the MainSource name will disappear, and the bank will become First Financial (currently with offices in Aurora).

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,” according to a company statement.

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.

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 MainSource CEO 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.