First Merchants Completes iAB Merger

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MUNCIE and FORT WAYNE -

Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. (Nasdaq: FRME) has completed its merger with Fort Wayne-based Independent Alliance Banks Inc. The integration of iAB Financial Bank into the First Merchants Brand is expected to be complete during the fourth quarter.

First Merchants says the combined company now includes 122 banking centers in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio with approximately $8.7 billion in assets. IAB shareholders are set to receive 1.6530 shares of First Merchants common stock for each share of IAB common stock they owned. 

"We are pleased that this merger received overwhelming approval by Independent Alliance Banks, Inc.’s shareholders. We are fortunate to have found such an outstanding partner and team to join with in the Fort Wayne area, one of the fastest growing cities in Indiana," said Michael Rechin, chief executive officer of First Merchants. "iAB Financial Bank clients will now have access to expanded product and service options along with the additional capital resources and lending capacity that First Merchants provides."

First Merchants says IAB Chief Operating Officer William Thatcher will assume the position of regional president with First Merchants to ensure a smooth transition in the Fort Wayne area. IAB CEO Michael Marhenke will also stay on to assume the responsibility for the day-to-day management operations in the market. 

This is the latest deal for First Merchants as it continues to grow. Earlier this year, the bank completed an $82 million acquisition of Ohio-based The Arlington Bank.

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