First Financial Corp., Terre Haute, Ind., plans to buy a local industrial loan company so it can offer consumer finance company services.

First Financial, a $1.7 billion-asset company, has agreed to buy $38 million-asset Morris Plan Company of Terre Haute in a stock swap. Morris Plan shareholders would get a total of 200,000 shares of First Financial stock in exchange for their holdings. The deal is valued at $10.3 million, based on First Financial's share price of $51.50 at Wednesday's close.

John W. Perry, secretary at First Financial, said the banking company had considered starting its own consumer finance company but then decided it would be more effective to acquire Morris Plan and its expertise. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter.

- Laura Pavlenko Lutton

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