First Financial Bancorp in Cincinnati and MainSource Financial Group in Greensburg, Ind., have agreed to sell five branches to secure regulatory approval for their planned $1 billion merger.

The companies disclosed in a regulatory filing Monday that they will sell four MainSource branches in Columbus, Ind., and one office in Greensburg to address competitive concerns from the Justice Department.

The divestiture will include all deposits and loans, as well as all real and personal property, associated with the branches. The sales must be completed within 180 days after First Financial completes its purchase of MainSource.

First Financial agreed to notify the Justice Department if it decides to stop offering retail banking services at any branch in Decatur or Bartholomew counties within two years after the merger’s completion. The company also agreed to sell or lease those branches to another institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

First Financial, which agreed to buy MainSource in July, is still waiting for approval from the Federal Reserve, the filing said.

First Financial CEO Claude Davis.
First Financial, led by CEO Claude Davis, must sell five branches to get Justice Department approval of its purchase of MainSource Financial.

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