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

The $6.5 billion-asset First Financial will pay $13.5 million in cash for Guernsey. First Financial will also transfer a single bank-owned property with a $1 million book value to Guernsey's sold shareholder. First Financial expects to complete the acquisition in the second half of this year.

Guernsey has three branches, $122.9 million in assets, $74.5 million in loans and $100.5 million in deposits. The acquisition strengthens First Financial's position around Columbus, Ohio, where it recently agreed to buy First Bexley Bank and Insight Bank.

"This partnership with Guernsey marks the next significant step in building the First Financial brand within Columbus and central Ohio and highlights our strong commitment to this dynamic market," Claude Davis, First Financial's president and chief executive, said in a press release Tuesday. 

First Financial said that, excluding restructuring charges, it expects the acquisition to be accretive to this year's diluted earnings per share by a penny. It should add 2 cents to the company's 2015 earnings and 4 cents to ensuing years. First Financial expects to earn back an expected 1.3% dilution to tangible book value in about four years.

Frost Brown Todd served as First Financial's legal counsel. Keefe, Bruyette and Woods and Patton Boggs advised Guernsey.

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