First Indiana shareholders OK acquisition

Cory Schouten

First Indiana Corp. shareholders today approved the local bank’s sale to Milwaukee-based Marshall & Ilsley Corp., a deal First Indiana directors OK’d in July. The $529 million merger is expected to close in January.

At the meeting at First Indiana Plaza, First Indiana patriarch Bob McKinney and his daughter, Marni, who chairs the board, introduced M&I’s new Indiana regional president, Reagan Rick, and bade farewell to shareholders and directors. The McKinneys have been involved with First Indiana for more than 50 years.

Rick, 45, has been an executive at First Indiana for about three years after having worked 24 years at three other banks and a couple of law firms, all in Indianapolis.

Bob McKinney told shareholders that he and the board didn’t want to sell, but decided it was the best deal for shareholders. Shareholders will get $32 per share, a 45-percent premium to the trading price when the deal was announced. Share prices have dropped for most banks in the last six months, which supports the board’s decision to close the deal in cash rather than stock.

M&I shares, for example, have lost nearly half their value since the deal was announced. Shares traded at $27.50 this morning, down from more than $45 in July. First Indiana shares traded at $31.87 today.

“It’s a sad day but a happy day, happy because we did the right thing,” Bob McKinney said. “It’s sad because we’re no longer First Indiana Bank; obviously that’s sad to me.”

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