Muncie bank buying smaller competitor for $66M

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Muncie-based MutualFirst Financial Inc. has agreed to acquire Bloomfield-based Universal Bancorp for $65.6 million in cash and stock, a deal that will swell MutualFirst’s assets from $1.6 billion to $2 billion.

Publicly traded MutualFirst, the parent of MutualBank, has 40 locations in the northern half of the state, including a wealth management office in Fishers.

Privately held Universal—headquartered in the Greene County town of Bloomfield, 30 minutes southwest of Bloomington—has 13 offices in southern and central Indiana, including outposts in Carmel and Greenwood.

“We view MutualFirst as a larger version of BloomBank, with a continued strong commitment to the communities we serve, our customers, and our dedicated employees,” Universal Chairman Mark Barkley said in a statement. “It is a natural evolvement to move forward with a strong partner with increased opportunities for all.”

New York-based Keefe Bruyette & Woods served as financial adviser to MutualFirst, and Washington, D.C.-based Silver Freedman Taff & Tiernan served as legal counsel.

West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania-based Beonning & Scattergood was Universal’s financial adviser, and Chicago-based SmithAmundsen was its legal adviser.

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