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Merger to give northwest Indiana bank local foothold

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Horizon Bancorp of Michigan City announced Friday that it has agreed to acquire Heartland Community Bank of Franklin for about $14 million, or $9.72 per share.

That’s a 170-percent premium over Heartland’s Thursday closing price of $3.60 per share. Heartland shares trade over-the-counter. Volume spiked Friday morning, and the shares opened at $8.25 each.

Horizon has 10 branches in northwest Indiana and five in Michigan. It’s the No. 1 bank in LaPorte County by deposit share. The bank reported $1.5 billion in assets, $1 billion in deposits and $978 million in outstanding loans at the end of 2011.

The deal gives Horizon its first presence in central Indiana, where it will continue to operate under the Heartland name.

“Heartland, which has the No. 1 deposit share in Johnson County, will provide a strong foothold in central Indiana and further establish Horizon’s position as an Indiana-focused financial institution,” said Craig Dwight, Horizon president and CEO.

Heartland, which opened in 1997, employs 98 people and has six branches in Franklin, Greenwood, Bargersville and New Whiteland. The bank has $246 million in assets, $217.9 million in deposits and $137.7 million in outstanding loans.

Co-founders Steve Bechman and Jeffrey Goben will continue to manage the local operations. One member of Heartland’s board of directors will be added to Horizon’s board.

The stock-for-stock transaction is expected to close in the second quarter.

Horizon agreed to issue 0.54 shares of its stock for each of Heartland’s stock outstanding at the merger’s effective date.

Heartland had about 1.44 million shares outstanding. Based on Horizon’s Feb. 8 closing price of $18 per share, the transaction was valued at about $9.72 per share of Heartland’s stock, or about $14 million.

Dwight said he expects to save 25 percent on operating costs by consolidating back-office functions.

Horizon acquired American Trust & Savings Bank of Whiting in 2010 and Alliance Banking Co. in southwest Michigan in 2005.

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  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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