Building on its strong presence in northern Ohio, FirstMerit Corp. of Akron said Tuesday that it would buy Signal Corp. for about $470 million in stock.

The deal for Signal, a $1.9 billion-asset thrift company based in Wooster, Ohio, is the second in-state acquisition agreement FirstMerit has announded in four months. In April, FirstMerit said it would buy Security First Corp. of Mayfield Heights for about $256 million in stock. FirstMerit would have $8.8 billion of assets and 177 branches, almost all in north central and northeastern Ohio.

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