First Merchants Bank Wraps Up Merger

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Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. (Nasdaq: FRME) has completed the $14.5 million acquisition of an Ohio bank. First Merchants says the full integration with C Financial Corp. is expected to be complete in the fourth quarter. April 20, 2015

News Release

MUNCIE, Ind. - First Merchants Corporation (NASDAQ: FRME) successfully completed its previously announced merger with C Financial Corporation, of Columbus, Ohio on Friday, April 17, 2015. In connection with the merger, Cooper State Bank has also merged with and into First Merchants Bank. The combined First Merchants Bank has 112 banking centers in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio and approximately $6.0 billion in assets, $4.0 billion in loans, $4.7 billion in deposits, and total shareholders’ equity of $740 million. The full integration of Cooper State Bank under the First Merchants brand is expected to be completed during the 4th quarter of 2015. As part of the $14.5 million merger, shareholders of C Financial Corporation will receive $6.738 in cash for each share of C Financial Corporation common stock held.

Michael C. Rechin, First Merchants Corporation's President and Chief Executive Officer, added, "First Merchants is excited to extend our presence in Columbus with the addition of Cooper State Bank as the newest member of the First Merchants family. The addition of Cooper State Bank supports our growth initiative, making the company more visible and impactful in Columbus, one of the fastest growing cities in America. From Cooper State Bank’s beginning in 2005, Dan Apple and his management team have played a pivotal role in providing real estate financing and bringing innovative retail banking ideas to Columbus consumers while maintaining excellent credit quality."

Under the leadership of Jennifer M. Griffith, First Merchants currently operates Commerce National Bank ("Commerce") in the Columbus, Ohio, marketplace. Commerce began doing business in 1991 and currently has approximately $500 million in loans extended to central Ohio business clients. Commerce merged with First Merchants in 2003.

Ms. Griffith, President of Commerce National Bank, stated "This is a tremendous opportunity to combine great teams in vibrant neighborhoods. The addition of the six Cooper State Bank banking centers will provide added convenience for our clients. I look forward to working with Dan to bring the best of Commercial Banking and Retail Banking to the Columbus market place."

Dan Apple, President and CEO of Cooper State Bank, stated, "We are looking forward to being a part of the First Merchants family, and believe this partnership will be good for our clients, shareholders, staff and communities. Since our inception ten years ago, our management team has been driven to be the retail bank of choice in our marketplace. We look forward to taking advantage of the new service offerings and enhanced lending capacity of Commerce and First Merchants while continuing to build momentum with our clients."

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 (