First Financial Bancorp (FFBC) in Cincinnati has agreed to buy Insight Bank in Worthington, Ohio.

The $6.3 billion-asset First Financial said Friday that it will pay $36.6 million in cash and stock for the $200 million-asset Insight. First Financial also agreed to redeem the $4.3 million in preferred stock Insight issued to the Treasury Department through the Small Business Lending Fund.

Insight has one branch in the Columbus suburb of Worthington and a loan production office in the area. At Sept. 30, the bank had total shareholders' common equity of $20.1 million and tangible book value per common share of $12.35. Insight earned $1.8 million in the past 12 months.

"This partnership … represents a major element in our strategy for entering the Columbus market," Claude Davis, First Financial's chief executive, said in a press release. "The team at Insight has built an outstanding franchise revolving around a client-centric business model similar to our own."

Two day earlier, First Financial said it would pay $44.5 million for First Bexley Bank in a deal that would mark the company's entrance into the Columbus market.

On Friday, First Financial said it will create a Columbus advisory board composed of Insight Bank and Bexley Bank directors, in order to make use of their expertise in the central Ohio market. It also said it would appoint one Insight director to its board.

First Financial expects about $4.5 million in restructuring charges tied to the Insight purchase, which would dilute earnings per share by about 12 cents. Excluding the restructuring charges, it expects the deal to be accretive to 2014 earnings by a penny.

Squire Sanders advised First Financial on the agreement, and  Keefe, Bruyette and Woods advised Insight.

 

http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/178_219/investors-in-nj-forms-asset-based-lending-group-1063630-1.html

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