HAMILTON, Ohio - First Financial Bancorp has announced an agreement to acquire F&M Bancorp, Rochester, Ind., for about $12.5 million.

The deal is subject to a definitive agreement and regulatory and shareholder approvals.

First Financial, which has $1.9 billion in assets, plans to merge $60 million-asset Farmers and Merchants Bank with its Indiana subsidiary Lawrence Bank in North Manchester.

F&M shareholders would exchange shares of their stock for First Financial shares. The final exchange rate will be determined during an agreed-upon pricing period and will be based on an average of the bid and ask prices, with a specified minimum and maximum, the company said.

The company also announced a regular quarterly cash dividend of 26 cents per share, payable on July 1 to shareholders of record as of June 9.

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