Indiana Banks Complete Merger

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Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. (Nasdaq: FRME) says a $140 million merger with Citizens Financial Bank in Munster is complete. The company expects full integration of Citizens Financial under the First Merchants brand to be finished early next year.

November 12, 2013

News Release

Muncie, Ind. -- First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ: FRME) successfully completed its previously announced merger with CFS Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: CITZ), of Munster, Indiana on Tuesday, November 12, 2013. In connection with the merger, Citizens Financial Bank has also merged with and into First Merchants Bank. The combined First Merchants Bank has 95 banking centers in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio and approximately $3.5 billion in loans, $4.3 billion in deposits, and total assets and shareholders’ equity of $5.5 billion and $653 million, respectively. The full integration of Citizens Financial Bank under the First Merchants brand will be completed during the 1st quarter of 2014.

As part of the $140 million merger, shareholders of CFS Bancorp will receive 0.65 shares of First Merchants Corporation common stock for each share of CFS Bancorp common stock held. CFS Bancorp shareholders will receive information shortly on how to exchange their CFS Bancorp shares for shares of the merged company.

Michael C. Rechin, First Merchants Corporation's Chief Executive Officer, added, "We are pleased that this merger received overwhelming approval by CFS and First Merchants shareholders. Citizens’ clients will now have access to expanded product and service options including trust services, wealth management and insurance. With the capital resources and lending capacity that First Merchants provides, it will enable us to focus on growth in the Northwestern Indiana and Northeastern Illinois community markets, both logical geographic extensions of the First Merchants franchise. We are excited about the addition of new markets to serve and new bankers to manage our growing business."

Founded in 1934, Citizens Financial Bank built a long history of deep-rooted commitment to community banking by providing personalized financial services solutions to consumer and business clients. Daryl D. Pomranke, President and CEO of Citizens stated, "We are excited about becoming part of the First Merchants family, and believe this partnership benefits our clients, shareholders and communities. Our clients will now have access to a broader network and expanded products and services, while still enjoying community banking service delivered by people they know and trust. For several years now, our executive management team has been driven to be the community bank of choice in our marketplace. Our bankers look forward to taking advantage of new product capabilities and continuing to build momentum with our clients as First Merchants. The core values of both companies share a commitment to local decision making, personal service, long-term relationships and community involvement." Mr. Pomranke and Dale S. Clapp, Citizens’ Executive Vice President, will continue to manage the Lakeshore Region of First Merchants Bank, with Mr. Pomranke serving as Regional President.

About First Merchants Corporation

First Merchants Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Muncie, Indiana. The Corporation is comprised of First Merchants Bank, N.A., which also operates as Lafayette Bank & Trust, Commerce National Bank, and First Merchants Trust Company as divisions of First Merchants Bank, N.A. First Merchants Corporation also operates First Merchants Insurance Group, a full-service property casualty, personal lines, and healthcare insurance agency.

First Merchants Corporation’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ Global Select Market System under the symbol FRME. Quotations are carried in daily newspapers and can be found on the company’s Internet web page (http://www.firstmerchants.com).

Source: First Merchants Corp.