First Merchants to buy CFS Bancorp for $114.7M

Associated Press

MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) -- First Merchants Corp. will buy CFS Bancorp Inc. for $114.7 million in an all-stock.

Shareholders in CFS, based in Munster, Ind., will receive 0.65 shares of First Merchants common stock for each of their CFS shares. Based on First Merchants' Friday closing stock price, the deal is worth $10.49 per share.

CFS shares jumped 99 cents, or 11 percent, to $10.21 on the news, after peaking at $10.25 shortly after the markets opened and marking their highest stock price since 2008.

The deal, which remains subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2013. The combined company, which will do business as First Merchants Bank, expects to complete its integration of its operations in the first quarter of 2014.

First Merchants and CFS will have combined assets of $5.4 billion with nearly 100 banking offices in 26 Indiana counties, as well as two counties in both Ohio and Illinois. First Merchants expects the acquisition to boost its earnings per share in 2014 and beyond.

CFS President and CEO Daryl Pomranke and Dale Clapp, its executive vice president for sales management, will be executives in First Merchants' newly acquired market, with Pomranke to serve as regional president, the companies said.

Shares of First Merchants, based in Muncie, Ind., dropped 9 cents to $16.05 in morning trading.