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First Merchants Corp.

of Muncie announced Sept. 3 that it has agreed to buy Lincoln Bancorp of Plainfield for about $75 million. The acquisition expands First Merchants’ presence in the Indianapolis area from the northern suburbs into other fast-growing suburbs on the west and south sides. Announcement of the deal sparked a 37-percent runup in the value of Lincoln shares.

Elanco, the animal-health division of Eli Lilly and Co., will move into a new 135,000-square-foot headquarters in Greenfield by the spring of 2010, the company announced Sept. 2. The new offices will go up on the northwest corner of State Road 9 and Interstate 70, where Indianapolis developer Browning Investments Inc. is building a 52-acre life sciences business park. Elanco employs 320 people at its headquarters in Greenfield, near U.S. 40 and Meridian Road. But Indianapolis-based Lilly has agreed to sell that site to New Jerseybased Covance Inc.

Michigan-based Kellogg Co. announced Sept. 3 that it has acquired Indy-Bake Products LLC, a cracker and cookie bakery headquartered in the western Indiana town of Seelyville, and plans to add 300 full-time and contract jobs over several years to the 80 existing positions. The state offered $1.4 million in incentives, and Vigo County offered $100,000 in infrastructure improvements.

Wheaton World Wide Moving has named two executives to fill the president and CEO positions held for decades by Stephen F. Burns, who will remain chairman, the Indianapolis moving company announced Sept. 3. Chief Operating Officer Mark Kirschner will become CEO and Executive Vice President Dave Witzerman will become president. Wheaton is the nation’s sixth-largest household-goods carrier.

Republican Mayor Greg Ballard on Aug. 29 replaced the last of the top economic development officials lingering
from the Democratic administration of former Mayor Bart Peterson. Scott Miller will replace Jeb Conrad at the helm of Indianapolis Economic Development Inc., and Brooke Huntington will replace Joanne Joyce as president of the Indianapolis Private Industry Council. Miller is former president of the landscaping firm Mainscape Inc.; Huntington is a former deputy commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

New York-based Steve & Barry’s, the discount clothing retailer purchased out of bankruptcy last month by BH S&B Holdings, said on Sept. 4 that it will leave open its stores at Lafayette Square and Washington Square malls in Indianapolis and a store in Bloomington. However, the chain is closing locations at Kokomo Shopping Center in Kokomo and North Park Mall in Marion as part of a plan to whittle its roster of stores to about 170, from the 276 operating before the bankruptcy.

A federal judge in New York on Sept. 2 dealt a blow to Fishers-based intellectual-property licensing firm CMG Worldwide-ruling that iconic images of the late actress Marilyn Monroe belong to the heirs of New York photographer Sam Shaw. CMG and its client-Monroe’s heirs-had wanted to block the
photographer’s family from cashing in on her image. But Judge Colleen McMahon sided with the Shaw family, ruling that Monroe and her family’s right to profit from her name ended when she died in 1962.

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