Chemical Banking Corp. and Manufacturers Hanover Corp. will merge at 5:01 p.m. today, barring any unforeseen calamity.

The union, which will be trumpeted in double-page ads in several newspapers on Thursday, will follow the filing this afternoon of a two-page merger certificate in Dover, Del., where the new company will be incorporated.

Doubts Put to Rest

Chemical chairman Walter Shipley and Hanover chairman John McGillicuddy have already signed the document, said John Stefans, communications director of the new Chemical.

The documents put to rest doubts raised a few months ago about completion of the merger before yearned.

The banks calmed regulators' concerns by resolving to quickly raise at least $550 million of equity to replace restructuring expenses related to the merger and by agreeing to spend $750 million over five years for lending in low-income communities.

The new Chemical plans to issue a press release announcing the merger this morning. The companies' lead banks will not merge until midyear, by which time they will have streamlined most of their back-office operations and systems.

The new Chemical will be the nation's second-largest bank holding company, with about $139 billion in assets, behind $224 billion-asset Citicorp.

Chemical, however, is expected to quickly fall into third place after BankAmerica Corp. and Security Pacific Corp. merge into a $196 billion-asset company early in 1992.

The new Chemical ad will show a businessman scaling monumental columns of the numeral one. "This isn't the last time we'll be first," the ad says.

It also reveals Chemical's new logo, which is already stamped on holiday appointment books sent out by the bank: the Hanover striped-square emblem next to the Chemical name.

Hanover and Chemical "were the first money-center institutions to see the future, and act on it," the ad gloats. "Our financial strength and staying power are beyond doubt."

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