Muncie-based First Merchants to acquire Michigan bank for $323.5M

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Muncie-based First Merchants Corp. plans to acquire Farmington Hills, Michigan-based Level One Bancorp. Inc in a stock-and-cash deal worth $323.5 million, the companies announced Thursday.

First Merchants has assets of $15.1 billion and operates more than 105 banking locations in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, including 24 offices in the Indianapolis market. Level One has assets of $2.5 billion and operates 16 banking locations, all of them in Michigan.

Under the terms of the deal, common shareholders of Level One stock will receive a 0.7167 share of First Merchants common stock and $10.17 cash for each share of Level One stock they own. This represents a 75% stock and 25% cash deal based on Wednesday’s $43.50 closing price for First Merchants shares.

“Like First Merchants, Level One Bank has a strong customer-focused history and a deep-rooted commitment to community banking,” First Merchants CEO Mark Hardwick said in a written statement. “We are excited they have chosen to become the newest member of the First Merchants family.”

First Merchants entered the Michigan market in 2019 with its acquisition of Monroe-based Monroe Bank and Trust. First Merchants currently has 33 Michigan locations.

Pending approvals, the Level One deal is expected to close in the first half of next year.

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