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First Financial Corporation to Acquire Hancock Bancorp

August 11, 2021, 07:05 AM
Filed Under: Mergers & Acquisitions

First Financial Corporation, the bank holding company of First Financial Bank N.A., and Hancock Bancorp, Inc., the bank holding company of Hancock Bank & Trust Company jointly announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement. First Financial will pay $18.38 per share in cash for each share of Hancock’s common stock outstanding. The aggregate value of the transaction is $31.35 million.

Upon completion of the acquisition, the combined company is expected to have approximately $5.0 billion in assets, $2.9 billion in loans, $4.2 billion in deposits and 89 branch offices across Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. First Financial expects the transaction to be approximately 7 percent accretive to earnings per share.

Norman L. Lowery, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Financial, said, “We are excited to be joining forces with another bank that has deep roots in its community. Together, our team of bankers will deliver unparalleled service to our customers and communities and continue to make those communities better places to live and work. With this combination, First Financial will extend its reach into western Kentucky.”

Founded in 1888, Hancock Bank & Trust Company currently operates seven banking locations in western Kentucky. As of June 30, 2021, Hancock reported assets of $334 million, gross loans of $249 million and deposits of $285 million.

Claude R. Badgett, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hancock, said, “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity we have to partner with First Financial in a transaction that we believe offers significant opportunities to our clients, communities, employees and shareholders. This partnership is an excellent opportunity to create value for both institutions.”

The merger agreement has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of each company. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to approval of Hancock’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

Janney Montgomery Scott LLC served as financial advisor and SmithAmundsen LLC provided legal counsel to First Financial. ProBank Austin served as financial advisor and Frost Brown Todd LLC served as legal counsel to Hancock.

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