MainSource merging into First Financial Bank

Two Midwestern-based banks that serve customers in southern Indiana have announced plans to merge.

MainSource Financial Group, based in Greensburg, intends to merge with First Financial Bancorp, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the companies said in a joint news release late Tuesday afternoon.

MainSource Bank will merge into First Financial Bank in a transaction valued at about $1 billion, the announcement said.

The transaction is expected to close in early 2018, subject to the approval of shareholders of both First Financial and MainSource and regulatory approvals, the companies said.

Combined, the bank is anticipated to become the sixth largest bank in deposit market share in Indiana and the fourth largest in the Greater Cincinnati area. Additionally, through a recent acquisition by MainSource Bank, both companies will fulfill their plans to expand in the Louisville market.

“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 E. Davis, chief executive officer of First Financial, who will transition into the role of executive chairman for a three-year term.