First Merchants completes acquisition of Independent Alliance Banks

Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. has completed its acquisition of Fort Wayne-based Independent Alliance Banks Inc., the banks announced Monday.

The merged companies make up the second-largest financial holding corporation headquartered in Indiana, behind Evansville-based Old National Bank Bancorp.

The deal, announced in February, is worth nearly $239 million, based on the closing price of First Merchants stock on Friday. First Merchants already owned a 12-percent stake in Independent Alliance that it acquired in November for nearly $20 million.

The deal called for shareholders of IAB to receive 1.6530 shares of First Merchants stock for each share of IAB common stock they hold.

When the deal was announced in February, IAB operated 16 banking center locations in the Fort Wayne area. It had total assets of $1.1 billion, total loans of $753 million and total deposits of $861 million.

IAB was formed in 2005 by the combination of Grabill Bank and MarkleBank.

The combined First Merchants Bank has 122 banking centers in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio, and about $8.7 billion in assets, $6.2 billion in loans, $6.7 billion in deposits and total shareholders’ equity of $1.1 billion.

IAB's branches will begin doing business as First Merchants by the end of the year.

Shares in First Merchants Corp. dipped 36 cents Tuesday morning, to $39.90 each.

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