The Federal Reserve Board has approved FirstMerit's pending acquisition of Citizens Republic Bancorp (CRBC) in Flint, Mich.
The Fed said Friday that it voted unanimously to approve the $912 million purchase, which will allow FirstMerit (FMER) in Akron, Ohio, to expand into Michigan and Wisconsin. The deal, which was first announced in September, will create a company with $24.2 billion in assets and 430 branches in six states, according to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
In its order approving the merger, the Fed said the transaction would not trigger any concerns over competition. While both banks have operations around Akron and Cleveland, they will remain only "moderately concentrated" after the merger, the Fed determined. FirstMerit will control about $3.4 billion, or 7.3% of total deposits, in Cleveland, and $3 billion of deposits in Akron, or a roughly 30% share of the market.
The board also said it considered FirstMerit's record of successfully integrating acquisitions. It bought two failed banks around Chicago in 2010.
In January, FirstMerit said it would raise $350 million to redeem preferred stock that Citizens Republic issued to the Treasury Department through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
FirstMerit already filled executive roles for its new Michigan and Wisconsin markets. It named Sandra Pierce chairman and chief executive and David Lochner president of its new Michigan operations. Pierce and Lochner were Michigan executives for RBS Citizens.
The company also hired Kevin Leissring to serve as its president and chief executive for Wisconsin. He had been a managing director for Town Bank, a Wintrust Financial (WTFC) unit in Heartland, Wis.