First Merchants Corp. of Muncie, Ind., said Wednesday that it is acquiring the $890 million-asset Lincoln Bancorp of Plainfield to fill out its Indianapolis operations.

The cash-and-stock deal, valued at between $74 million and $77 million, would increase First Merchants' asset total to $4.7 billion. It would have 82 branches in Indiana and Ohio. Lincoln's 17 branches and two loan production offices, primarily in the southern and western part of the Indianapolis metropolitan area, would be folded into First Merchants Bank of Central Indiana. Lincoln shareholders would receive about $15.76 a share, or about 1.07 times the seller's tangible book value. Mark Hardwick, First Merchants' executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in an interview that the price is "fair given the trading value of bank stocks."

The deal is expected to close next quarter.

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