First Financial gets sweet deal on Irwin Financial’s bank assets

It’s good to be among the favored few, those blessed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to scoop up the remnants
of failed banks. Because it was on the FDIC list of approved buyers, Cincinnati-based First Financial Bancorp
was able to acquire Columbus, Ind.-based Irwin Financial Corp.’s banking operations under terms
that would make any deal-maker proud.

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Indianapolis benefits firms merge

Two Indianapolis benefits consulting firms have finalized their merger, the companies announced this morning. Terms of the
deal between Benefit Associates Inc. and Benefit Consultants Inc., in the works since March, were not disclosed.

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Republic growth strategy fraught with risk

By purchasing two struggling airlines for which it flies, Republic Airways Holdings is taking aboard substantial risks that
threaten its profitable niche, analysts say. Frontier Airlines and Midwest Airlines are not only leaking money, but fly at
an altitude where major carriers routinely dogfight
in a fare war Republic hasn’t had to fight as a contract carrier.

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