The long wait is finally over for Mercantile Bank (MBWM) in Grand Rapids, Mich., as it looks to acquire Firstbank (FBMI) in Alma, Mich.

The companies said Thursday that they have received all the approvals necessary for the $151 million merger, which was announced nearly nine months earlier. Shareholders approved the deal in December. With all approvals in hand, the companies said they expect to complete the transaction on June 1, creating a company with a combined $2.9 billion in assets.

"After an extensive and meticulous regulatory review, we have obtained approval to complete this transformational merger," Michael Price, Mercantile's chairman, president and chief executive, said in a press release. "This approval validates our history of community involvement and outstanding performance under the Community Reinvestment Act, and follows a thorough analysis of our lending practices."

Mercantile said in a November regulatory filing that, "due to the timing of certain regulatory processes and approvals," it had become unlikely that it would close the acquisition by Jan. 1, as previously planned. At that time, Mercantile pushed back its expected closing date to March 31.

By February, the companies realized that regulatory delays were going to delay to closing yet again. They said in regulatory filings that they would move the deal's termination date back to June 30 to give the deal more time to close.

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