Shareholders OK First Financial, MainSource Merger

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Archie Brown, current MainSource CEO, will lead the resulting institution. Archie Brown, current MainSource CEO, will lead the resulting institution.

Cincinnati-based First Financial Bancorp's (Nasdaq: FFBC) planned $1 billion acquisition of MainSource Financial Group Inc. (Nasdaq: MSFG) in Greensburg has been approved by both sets of shareholders. The deal, which the banks say would create a $13 billion institution, is still subject to regulatory approval.

Once closed, First Financial would become the surviving institution. MainSource branches will maintain their identity until the transition is complete. Closing is expected to take place at the beginning of the year and converting fully to the First Financial brand is set for the second quarter.

When the merger was announced in July, officials said a community development plan would be launched, including $1 million in community support and 100-job commitment in Greensburg. MainSource Chief Executive Officer Archie Brown will serve as president and CEO of the resulting company, with current First Financial CEO Claude Davis serving as executive chairman.

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