MutualFirst in Ind. reaches compromise with activist investor

Register now

MutualFirst Financial in Muncie, Ind., has reached a truce with an activist investor.

The $2 billion-asset company disclosed in a regulatory filing that it will nominate James Bernard, a representative of Ancora Advisors, to join its board. Ancora, which as a 7.2% stake in MutualFirst, had been steadily building its position in the company.

Bernard will remain on MutualFirst's board until its 2020 annual meeting. He is also expected to join the board of MutualFirst’s bank. Bernard joined Ancora in 2006, according to the firm's website.

As part of the agreement, Ancora has agreed to buy no more than 9.99% of MutualFirst’s stock, or acquire any company assets. The investors will not attempt to restructure, control or change MutualFirst’s management, board or policies. And it cannot pursue litigation against the bank or its management.

During the standstill period, which is in effect until the end of next year's annual meeting, Ancora will support MutualFirst's board nominees and recommendations.

MutualFirst recently completed its acquisition of Universal Bancorp in Bloomfield, Ind.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.