HARRODSBURG, Ky. - Harrodsburg First Financial Bancorp has a deal to buy a majority stake in a Kentucky start-up bank.

The parent of First Financial Bank, $121 million-asset Harrodsburg will invest $3 million in Citizens Financial Bank, Glasgow. That would give Citizens 60% of the money its needs to meet the minimum to begin operations, and give Harrodsburg 51% ownership. It would also have the option of buying a larger stake later.

Citizens president and chief executive officer Terry L. Bunnell said the deal, which was announced this week, came together soon after Citizens began seeking investors.

"We were looking for institutional buyers, and I knew Art Freeman and we started discussing from there," Mr. Bunnell said, referring to First Financial's chairman and CEO. "They liked our plans and were familiar with start-up banks."

Citizens is expected in May to get regulatory approval to begin operating. It is to be a subsidiary of First Financial.

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