Banc One Corp. announced an agreement to acquire First Financial Associates Inc., a Wisconsin banking company with seven branches in the southeastern part of the state.

Columbus, Ohio-based Banc One said it signed a letter of intent to pay stock valued at $76.6 million for First Financial, the parent of First National Bank of Kenosha, Wis.

The deal, expected to be completed in the third quarter of 1993, would add $406 million in assets to the $5.5 billion that Banc One holds in Wisconsin. It ranks third in the state in assets and has 90 offices.

Fast-Growing Community

Kenosha, about 50 miles north of Chicago, is the seat of fast-growing Kenosha County, population 121,000. Though largely a farming and small-town region, it has experienced significant growth in recent years.

Banc One currently has two branches in Kenosha County. First National Bank would become Banc One Kenosha.

In keeping with its strategy of giving autonomy to acquired banks, Banc One said it will retain Rudolph F. Scuglik as president and chairman of the Kenosha organization after the takeover. Frederick L. Cullen is chairman of Banc One Wisconsin.

Staff to Be Retained

Banc One also expects to keep all 225 First Financial employees and the seven branches.

Banc One, which has $51 billion in assets and banking operations in eight states, entered Wisconsin in 1988 by acquiring Marine Corp. of Milwaukee and has since made several other acquisitions.

Earlier this year, Banc One signed a letter of intent to acquire First Southeast Bank of Geneva, Wis. The letter was later withdrawn. The banks agreed not to disclose why the deal fell through.

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