Forcht Bank to enter Cincinnati with acquisition

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Forcht Bancorp in Corbin, Ky., plans to enter the Ohio market with an agreement to buy Watch Hill Bank in Cincinnati.

The deal, valued at roughly $26.7 million in cash, would give the $1.1 billion-asset Forcht two offices in Cincinnati, the company said Tuesday. Forcht's latest bank acquisition was Grant County Deposit Bank in 2014.

“We believe this merger will offer customers of both banks even greater strength and resources while maintaining our commitments to the communities in which we serve,” Tucker Ballinger, Forcht's president and CEO, said in a press release. “Both of our organizations are built around the customer experience and understanding the importance of delivering increasing value to customers, communities and shareholders.”

Gregory Niesen, president and CEO of the $163 million-asset Watch Hill, would serve as the Cincinnati market president. The deal is expected to close later this year.

Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs served as legal adviser to Forcht. Sandler O’Neill served as financial adviser and Luse Gorman served as legal adviser to Watch Hill.

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