Banking & Finance

First Commonwealth to Buy 13 FirstMerit Offices

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – First Commonwealth Financial Corp., holding company of First Commonwealth Bank, has agreed to buy 13 offices of FirstMerit Bank to satisfy the competitive concerns of the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the pending acquisition of FirstMerit this quarter by Huntington Bancshares Inc.

The chairman, president and CEO of Huntington Bancshares, Stephen D. Steinour, made the announcement Thursday.

For First Commonwealth, based in Indiana, Pa., this would be its first branch presence in northeastern Ohio. It has four offices in Lawrence County, Pa., including three in New Castle.

Two of the FirstMerit offices are in Ashtabula County, the other 11 in Stark County: three in Massillon, five in Canton, one in Louisville, one in North Canton and one in Canal Fulton.

First Commonwealth is expected to retain the 80 employed at the 13 offices, Steinour said. As of May 31, the 13 offices had $735 million in total deposits and $115 in total loans.

First Commonwealth has $6.7 billion in total assets and 109 banking offices across 17 counties in western and central Pennsylvania. It has mortgage banking offices in Stow and Dublin Ohio.

Huntington did not report how much First Commonwealth would pay for the 13 offices, the price apparently still under negotiation.

The FirstMerit offices will adopt the First Commonwealth name late this year.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.