JASPER - Jasper-based German American Bancorp. Inc. (Nasdaq: GABC) has announced plans to acquire Citizens First Corp. (Nasdaq: CZFC) in Kentucky. The deal is valued at more than $68 million and, when complete, Citizens First Bank Inc. will be merged into German American Bank.

Citizens First President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Kanipe will serve as regional president of the combined company. German American says it expects one Citizens First board member to join the German American board and three additional Citizens First executive officers will continue in regional roles similar to their current positions.

"Citizens First has built a solid and growing community banking franchise through which German American can provide our extensive offerings of banking, insurance, and investment products and services to Citizens First's current and prospective clients," said Mark Schroeder, CEO of German American. "The acquisition furthers our expansion into vibrant Kentucky markets and strengthens our local presence in the Bowling Green market area, which has demonstrated a history of dynamic growth and prosperity."

The merger is expected to be complete in the third quarter. The deal remains subject to approval from regulators and Citizens First shareholders, as well as other closing conditions.

This will be the second acquisition of a Kentucky bank for German American in the last year. In October, the bank completed its $101 million acquisition of First Security Inc.