MUNCIE - Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. (Nasdaq: FRME) and MBT Financial Corp. in Michigan (Nasdaq: MBTF) have finalized a long-awaited merger. First Merchants says the deal, announced last year, will make it the second largest financial holding company headquartered in the Hoosier state.

MBTF operated 20 banking center locations in the southeastern Michigan area. The banks will remain part of First Merchants franchise, with Monroe Bank & Trust also merging into First Merchants Bank.  

Following the merger, First Merchants expects to have assets of nearly $12 billion.

“Like First Merchants, Monroe Bank & Trust had a long history and a deep-rooted commitment to community banking, and we are excited they have chosen to become the newest member of the First Merchants family,” said First Merchants president and chief executive officer Michael Rechin. “The MBTF franchise opens an entirely new contiguous banking market for us with a high-quality and prudently managed 160 year old institution. We believe that our strategy to be a service-driven alternative to our super-regional bank competitors will support the acceleration of Monroe Bank & Trust’s current initiatives while furthering our goal of growing as a high-performing company.”  

The company will  now operate 130 banking offices in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.