In a bid to expand its presence in the Great Lakes region, Fifth Third Bancorp of Cincinnati said Monday that it had agreed to buy Old Kent Financial Corp. for $4.9 billion of stock.

The purchase would be Fifth Third’s largest and would boost its share of metropolitan markets in Illinois and Michigan, two states the company has viewed as key areas for growth. George Schaefer Jr., Fifth Third’s chairman and chief executive officer, said the deal would add to revenues and earnings in the first year.

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