FirstMerit Corp. of Akron, Ohio, would strengthen its presence in northeast Ohio and suburban Cleveland with a deal announced Monday to buy Security First Corp. for $256 million of stock.

Security First, a $678 million-asset thrift company based in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, would be FirstMerit's second acquisition in the last five months in suburban Cleveland. The company announced Nov. 3 that it would buy $602 million-asset Cobancorp of Elyria, Ohio. That deal is expected to close in May.

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